New CSD cotton variety yields top result

03 December, 2002

A new CSIRO cotton variety released by CSD last season, Sicot 70, has achieved a yield of 11 bales per hectare(4.5 bales/acre) at St George in its first commercial year. This outstanding result was achieved on Farm 26 owned by Glen Price at St George, who said the performance of Sicot 70 has been extremely pleasing.

Consulting agronomist in the St George and Mungindi area, Jamie Street, from Street Agricultural Services, said the surprisingly high Sicot 70 yields, along with the sound performance of another new CSIRO long season variety, Sicot 80, gave growers a good choice of suitable hot area varieties.

“The CSD variety Sicot 189 has been the variety of choice for over a decade in South West Queensland, but it is always good to have alternatives and it is great to see that progress in cotton breeding is continuing to push yields higher,” he said

Mr. Street said Sicot 70 was a compact plant that stayed green and healthy right up to defoliation. Consequently it did not suffer from premature senescence despite the heavy crop.

The determinant plant type also resulted in an even cut-out. He said Sicot 70 would particularly suit fallow fields as the plant type would favour controlled crop growth.

Greg Kauter, CSD Extension and Development agronomist at Goondiwindi, confirmed the exceptional year for Sicot 70 in western areas, noting that it had also surprised many growers and ginners with very high gin out-turns, averaging 42 – 43 % for all bales ginned through a number of gins.

“These high turnouts can be attributed to good growing conditions in the second half of the season, producing high yields, which tends to reduce seed size a little, and also excellent defoliation conditions resulting in very little trash in the seed cotton and low moisture levels in the picked cotton.”

Mr. Kauter said CSD’s extensive variety trial program was complementary to CSIRO’s breeding program.

“New lines are tested over a number of years before release, but it is very rewarding when growers achieve such good early results in the field with new varieties,” he said.