Cotton planting complete in Border Rivers region

16 November, 2005

___Cotton growers have planted about 28,000 ha in the Macintyre, 23,000ha around Mungindi, just under 20,000ha in proximity to St George, and close to 3500ha around Dirranbandi, for a total area of almost 80,000 hectares._

CSD extension and development agronomist in the region, David Kelly, said general rainfall and during October, while causing some replanting, has been generally positive, allowing many growers the opportunity to plant which otherwise would not have been possible.

“The warm end to September shot soil temperatures towards 20 degrees where they stayed for the duration of the planting period. Frequent rainfall events from mid-October caused some problems with hail damage, soil crusting, waterlogging, and herbicide damage.

“However, it’s pleasing to note fewer problems with residual herbicide damage, due to the popularity of Roundup Ready technology and a subsequent reduction in planting herbicide use.

“Throughout the Macintyre and St George there have been many ‘punt’ crops planted on rain moisture that will rely on in-crop rainfall or large flows within some of the creek and river systems to get them through,” David Kelly said.

He noted that plantings were spread from late September through to mid-November, which could make for an ‘interesting’ finish to the season, depending on subsequent seasonal developments.

Previously, growers would have been reluctant to plant into November because of the late season insect issues in conventional cotton: Bollgard II® technology has reduced this risk.

“At present, the most mature crops are those planted in the Balonne in late September which are up to 9 to 10 nodes and progressing well.

“Insect pressure has generally been moderate. There were some numbers of armyworm on the earliest planted crop, which required control on isolated occasions. Thrips numbers moving off cereal crops and weeds were high early but have since dropped off.

“In the last fortnight, heliothis numbers have started to rise and people are also starting to find a few mirids,” he said.

Pictured: CSD agronomist, David Kelly, inspects a crops of Sicot 71BR planted on rain moisture in mid-October

Further Information:David Kelly