Cotton harvest exceeds expectations

03 December, 2002

Individual cotton growers have reported some outstanding harvest results, despite severe setbacks at planting time. CSD extension and development agronomist, Greg Kauter, said the season had brought out the best in cotton varieties, and the best in management, with the combination turning out some outstanding yields.

This was demonstrated in a “Pick in Progress” report on the CSD website in an interview with Andrew Parkes from the Sundown Pastoral Company’s property “Keytah”.

Mr Parkes said the season had been extremely challenging and tough, with a cold start and a record number of cold shock events, yet had produced some of the company’s best yields ever, and “probably the best crop we’ve ever had.”

He said the cold start had forced management to concentrate more on the timing of operations relating to weed control, insect thresholds and irrigation timing.

This had resulted in obvious benefits by empowering the crop to compensate when conditions improved later in the season.

He said better water management including timing and fine-tuning irrigation activities had been a key factor in managing INGARD crops in particular.

He said there were two less irrigations on Keytah this season and fewer in crop rainfall events than last year, yet yields this year had been higher, implying the importance of management techniques.

“We had improved yields from INGARD crops, but at the same time reduced costs, hence increased gross margins,” he said.

While noting the relevance of an excellent finish to the season on yields, he said pre and post planting management were essential ingredients in allowing the crop to later capitalise on its full yield potential.