New Generation Cotton Varieties At St George

12 March, 2007

St George district cotton growers and consultants got a glimpse of the ‘new generation’ of Australian bred cotton varieties at a recent field day hosted by Cotton Seed Distributors.

__David Kelly, CSD agronomist for the Border Rivers region, introduced several new conventional varieties that would be released to the industry in the 2007planting season.

“Sicot 71 has been a benchmark variety for over five years now despite its fibre limitations, and it’s been difficult to find a anything else that will out-yield it.

“We’re now seeing a new generation of varieties that we hope will match Sicot 71’s yield, but with very high fibre quality and exceptionally high Fusarium resistance. It’s a target we’ve been chasing a long time: very high fusarium resistance, excellent fibre quality and high yield,” he said.

People attending the field day also saw the new generation of varieties with Bollgard II Roundup Ready Flex?.

David Kelly stressed the importance of the extensive CSD variety trial program. “Due to regulatory restrictions prior to this season, we don’t have a lot of commercial yield and quality information on these new varieties.

“At the conclusion of this season we’ll have a great set of data comparing our current Bollgard II/ Roundup Ready? varieties with the new generation of Bollgard II/ Roundup Ready Flex? varieties.

CSD will be releasing a new high yielding Bollgard II/ Roundup Ready Flex? variety in the 2007-08 season through its successful members ballot system.

CSD extension and development agronomist from the Darling Downs, John Marshall, spoke about the extensive research program that CSD is undertaking on the ongoing issue of Fusarium wilt.

“This disease is really a ‘sleeping giant’ in an area such as St George. We’ve known the disease has been present here for a long time and even in a dry year like this there are worrying levels out there. In a season where the conditions may really suit the disease there is the potential for devastating results,” John Marshall said.

“On a positive note, we are making solid steps to combat the disease. Our plant pathology team, Dr Steve Allen and Greg McNamara, are generating some great data on the seed treatment ‘Bion’ that is reducing the incidence of both Fusarium and Black Root Rot.

“Long term trials are also indicating that if you grow varieties that are more resistant to Fusarium every year, it reduces the presence of the disease in the soil,” he said.

Further information: David Kelly 0428 950 021

Photo: Catching up at CSD’s field walks in St George were Glenn Rogan , ‘Willandra’; CSD Agronomist John Marshall, and Scott Brimblecombe, ‘Ashwood Farm’.