Planting early success

GOOD YEAR: John Hegeman at Lochiel property, Emerald, plants early season cotton.
GOOD YEAR: John Hegeman at Lochiel property, Emerald, plants early season cotton. Photo: Renee Anderson

COTTON growers around the region are looking to reap the benefits of the new planting window enabled by seed Bollgard 3.

Many growers around CQ are coming off the back of trial-planting cotton throughout the last season.

For many, the trial showed positive results for early planted cotton and growers are looking to replicate that success this season.

The wider planting window was created by the addition of the latest generation of biotechnology traits in cotton.

Cowal Agriculture manager Chris Brummel said planting at Lochiel and other farms in the company would be finished by the end of August.

"We saw at least a two-bale increase in yield with the early planted cotton compared to later planted,” he said.

"The quality and yield was fantastic - it was the whitest cotton we've seen in years. It was really good to see.”

Mr Brummel said although it looked like a long dry season ahead, it would hopefully be another "good year” for cotton.

Similarly at Argoon, a property located outside Comet, Neek Morawitz has also praised the success of the early planting window.

"It went well for us; we saw a solid result with early planted cotton,” he said. "The mid season was back a little on average, but was still quite solid.

The farm was opting to plant all cotton early.

CQ cotton quality

AS NEW seeds hit the soil, the CQ cotton industry is still revelling in the quality and value of the last season.

Queensland Cotton CQ regional manager Rick Jones said he was "ever hopeful” this season would turn out as good as the last.

"The new growing window enabled a good yield, with over $500 a bale, which we hope for,” he said.

"The quality was good, it was a good season overall.”

Mr Jones said the quality of cotton grown in CQ last season was better than that grown down south.

"There are four main parameters of classification - length, strength, colour and micronaire,” Mr Jones said.

"Last season the length, micronaire and strength was all quite good.

"This year down south, (farmers) ran out of water which affected their crops.”

Colour of cotton was also a positive in the region as many crops were unaffected by variable weather.

Mr Jones said the colour of cotton was dependent on weather condition before picking.

"A long period of rain at picking time can cause it to be downgraded; however, a little rain doesn't hurt,” he said.

"Most of the cotton was 11 and 21.

"Eleven is bright white, 21 is just off that - that's what the mills are chasing.”

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