Greg Kauter appointed as executive officer of ACGRA

23 August, 2005

___Greg Kauter, a key member of the Cotton Research and Development Corporations’ Research Management team, is set to take up the newly created position of full time Executive Officer of CRDC’s industry stakeholder – the ACGRA._

A graduate in Agricultural Economics and Rural Science in Cotton Production from the University of New England, Mr Kauter has spent his entire career in the cotton industry in the Namoi, Gwydir and Macintyre valleys. For 10 years, he worked as a self-employed consultant in the Border Rivers region, based at Goondiwindi, and prior to joining CSD 5 years ago, specialised in integrated pest management, when contracted to the Queensland Department of Primary Industry and the Cotton CRC.

In this role he was part of a trail-blazing study group which found that the ""soft"" approach to spray management (fewer sprays), could yield higher profit margins and greater environmental benefits than the ""hard"" spray option, under both light and heavy insect conditions.

Mr Kauter is a former president of the Cotton Consultants Association, and represented the Association on the Transgenic and Insect Management Strategy Committee (TIMS).

During his time at CRDC, Greg managed the Corporations investment in 3 key strategic research programs – Crop Protection, Breeding and Biotechnology and Farming Systems.

CRDC Executive Director, Bruce Finney, said that Greg has contributed a great deal to the industry throughout his career, and over the past 2 years, he has been an integral part of CRDC’s management team.

’Given the current climate of low prices and limited water availability, the Australian cotton industry is currently experiencing a time of intense challenge to its profitability. Research driven gains in on-farm productivity, as well as improved environmental performance are the
necessary industry response. This will present both challenges and opportunities for both CRDC and the ACGRA over the coming months and years, and whilst it is disappointing to see Greg move on from CRDC, I could not imagine a more important role in the industry at this present time ’ Bruce added.

Hamish Millar, Chair of the ACGRA, said ""Greg has an infectious enthusiasm for the Australian Cotton Industry leaving a trail of achievement in his past industry roles. Greg will provide excellent leadership and direction in his new role, enabling the ACGRA to lift its capacity and provide better strategic advice on research matters."",2005-08-23 11:13:07,2005-08-23 11:13:07
388,Dryland cotton poised for take off,"p. ___Ironically, while some cotton growers face severe cutbacks in water availability, dryland growers are making preparations for normal plantings, contingent on timely sowing rains and a lift in prices._

James Quinn, CSD extension and development agronomist at Moree, said late rain in June, reduced cereal plantings, and a wider varietal choice had triggered renewed interest in dryland plantings.

“Technologies such as Bollgard II®, Round Up Ready® and varied row spacings have combined to make the management of dryland cotton less stressful and risky.

“We have had interest from not only traditional dryland east of Newell highway Narrabri and Moree cotton growing areas, but also from areas not previously considered thought to be suited to dryland cotton, for example 70 km west of Moree,” he said.

Pictured: David Kelly, CSD Extension Agronomist Goondiwindi inspects a crop of Siokra V16B® during the 2004-05 season

David Kelly, who represents the CSD extension and Development Team in the Goondiwindi region, noted that in the recent 2004-05 season, dryland cotton growers throughout NSW and Qld had experienced the full benefits of the Bollgard II technology which provides resistance to one of cotton’s most serious pests, Heliothis.

__“This technology has provided much more certainty in the greatest variable cost, insect control, and has taken a lot of the variability out of yield,” he said.

Pictured: Gary Coulton – ""Fairview"" Bellata compares a plant stand of 15 plants per metre with 4 ppm. The trial was on a field of Sicot 289BR® grown by Martin Dunlop that yielded close to 1.5 bales per acre.

CSD agronomist in the Namoi, Robert Eveleigh, said CSD has begun a research program to investigate the ideal plant stands for dryland Bollgard crops. Two years of small scale trials at Dalby and one large
scale trial at Bellata have already provided useful guidelines for growers.

Similar trials in irrigated crops suggest an optimum plant stand of 10 to 14 plants per metre. Dryland trials so far indicate an ideal BGII plant stand of 4 to 8 plants per metre. In fact, even plant stands down to 4 per metre will have little impact on yield, however, it is important that large gaps be avoided.

John Marshall, CSD E&D Team representative on the Darling Downs, said CSD would hold its annual dryland information tour across most growing regions from late August.

“These discussions will focus on optimising yield, fibre quality and financial returns; managing and marketing Bollgard II® technology; and variety selection. CSD’s extensive trial program, including 10 fully replicated CRDC approved variety trials and numerous agronomic trials, will also be reviewed.

__The CSIRO plant breeding team will also outline advances in yield, quality and disease tolerance. John Marshall said CSD has an extensive range of high yielding, high fibre quality varieties encompassing, Conventional, Bollgard and Roundup Ready technologies.

p. The CSD dryland tour meetings schedule is as follows:

Tuesday August 30 – Gunnedah – Services Club – 4pm Wednesday August 31 – Moree – Golf Club – 10am Wednesday August 31- Goondiwindi – Rugby League Club – 4pm Thursday September 1 – Dalby – CSD Cotton house – 10amp. All meetings will be followed by a light meal and refreshments and the opportunity to discuss details with the CSIRO Plant Breeding Team and CSD Extension and Development agronomists.

_Further Information:
Robert Eveleigh, John Marshall, Craig McDonald, David Kelly or James Quinn