Skills the key to FastStart™ yield potential

05 October, 2018

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Irrigated and dryland cotton growers who demonstrate excellence in planting this season could win themselves an expenses-paid trip to Kununurra and Broome courtesy of Cotton Seed Distributors (CSD) and Syngenta.

To enter the FastStartTM Cotton Establishment Awards growers only need to submit planting details and establishment figures, along with a supporting photo, with awards for the best irrigated and dryland crops.

Entries will be judged based on a combination of the establishment percentage and Planter Uniformity Index (PUI) of each eligible crop.

“There are lots of growers out there doing a fantastic job of optimising their seedling establishment through utilisation of the technology and tools FastStartTM is providing, and we want to recognise and celebrate this as best practice cotton farming. The Awards are a great way of doing this, as well as sharing what good looks like with other growers,” said Syngenta Seedcare Technical Services Lead, Sean Roberts.

For those who want to achieve the best yields possible this season there is also a new online tool. The FastStartTM Cotton Accreditation Course is a free, training module which aims to equip cotton agronomists, consultants, rural retailers and on-farm staff with the principles and tools to achieve even establishment and healthy flowering, for all-important yield potential.

“Sound agronomic management is a crucial factor in the planting operation and the first 70 days after emergence, setting the crop up to maximise its yield potential,” said CSD Research Manager, Hannah Hartnett.

The Accreditation Course has been developed to be completed with support from the FastStartTM Establishment Guide, which is also available free online, including Ten Tips to get your Cotton off to a FastStart. From early preparation of a clean seed bed, to review of nutrition, seed selection and planting – seed treatment being the key to disease prevention – the Establishment Guide aims to develop strong plant architecture and flowering as the launching pad for better yields.

The course is also part of the Crop Consultants Australia (CCA) accreditation program, whereby members can gain points by successfully completing the course. Non-members are also welcome to complete the course, with the suggestion to include it as part of an on-farm induction for new employees, and/or an upskilling information update for existing farm workers.

The FastStartTM research and development program is funded through a contribution from the sale of CSD seed treated with Syngenta’s cotton Seedcare range. It addresses key grower and industry challenges such as the control of insect pests and diseases, as well investigating complementary technologies to help drive yield potential and minimise risks associated with establishing cotton in Australia.

To undergo FastStartTM accreditation visit: www.faststartcotton.com.au/accreditation

For more information on the FastStartTM Cotton Establishment Awards including full terms and conditions, and how to enter, visit www.faststartcotton.com.au/faststart-awards