Australian Bred Cotton Varieties Keep Delivering

26 June, 2008

Australian cotton-growers are set to reap the benefits of new locally-bred varieties that have produced near record yields during the 2007-08 season.

Speaking last week at Cotton Seed Distributors’ (CSD) annual information tour throughout the Queensland cotton-growing regions, CSIRO cotton breeder Dr Warwick Stiller introduced two new varieties available to growers in the forthcoming 2008-09 season.

“Sicot 71BRF, which contains Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex, and Sicot 71RRF, which contains Roundup Ready Flex, have both performed exceptionally during their development,” Dr Stiller said.

CSD General Manager Steve Ainsworth said that both varieties would be available next season but due to very limited quantities, Sicot 71BRF, which is likely to be extremely popular, will be balloted out to CSD members.

“CSD members will receive information in the mail about the Sicot 71BRF ballot within the next month”, Mr Ainsworth said.

CSD Agronomist James Quinn presented a detailed analysis of Sicot 70BRF, a variety which was available in limited quantities this past season, using data collected from CSD’s extensive variety trial program.

“We’ve got two seasons’ data from 15 trials, spread from Hillston to Emerald, where we’ve compared it head-to-head with Sicot 71BR, currently the most popular Australian variety”.

“This data shows Sicot 70BRF has equivalent yield to Sicot 71BR, but with significant improvements in fibre quality, particularly staple length and micronaire, and higher Fusarium wilt resistance.”

“In our large-scale variety trial program, we’ve seen Sicot 70BRF exceed 12.5 bales per hectare on many occasions, including a crop on the Darling Downs this season that yielded 14 bales per hectare, possibly the highest yield ever for that region.” Mr Quinn said.”

There will be ample supplies of Sicot 70BRF planting seed this season, and according to CSD General Manager Steve Ainsworth, seed quality for this, and in fact, all varieties is excellent due to a good growing season and dry picking conditions.

“Despite the current down-turn in the industry, CSD has still maintained good supplies of those varieties important to the Australian cotton industry”, Mr Ainsworth said.

Well over 150 growers and industry personnel attended the series of meetings held throughout the Queensland growing regions, and continuing throughout NSW this week.