New cotton varieties on show in the Balonne

09 March, 2011

Balonne district cotton growers and consultants got a glimpse of the current generation of Australian bred cotton varieties at a recent series field day presentations by Cotton Seed Distributors.

David Kelly, CSD agronomist for the Border Rivers region told growers CSD had released three new Bollgard II Roundup Ready varieties in the 2010-11 season which completed a suite providing plenty of choice for dryland and irrigated growers.

“We’re very pleased that we’re at a stage where our best yielding varieties all have very good fibre properties, avoiding the length and micronaire issues of the past, and also with Fusarium rankings greater than 120,” he said.

In detailing the new releases, David Kelly said the new Sicot 74BRF performed very well in the region last season, yielding, on average, seven percent better than Sicot 71BRF – currently the most popular Australian variety.”

“Sicala 340BRF is a variety that produces far superior fibre properties than other varieties but with yields close to Sicot 71BRF and its allowed growers and the industry to explore markets for premium quality cotton.”

“Siokra 24BRF is a vigorous okra-leafed variety which would be well suited for Balonne growers for fields where they may be a bit short of water as it’s a more robust plant type to the other varieties and its less attractive to pests such as silverleaf whitefly and mites,” he said.

David Kelly said while CSD was not anticipating any new major variety releases in 2011, there was an impressive pipeline of new material currently under various stages of evaluation and seed increase.

“We hope we’ll see a new Bollgard II Roundup Ready Flex variety with further yield, fibre quality and disease resistance improvements over Sicot 74BRF sometime in the next couple of seasons,” he said.

“There are three experimental varieties with Bollgard II and Liberty Link technology which are currently under close evaluation as well as three potential lines with Roundup Ready Flex traits.”

“People often ask us about conventional lines and we’re evaluating two new potential varieties that will offer significant yield and fibre quality improvements over Sicot 71 and Sicot 75 and we hope to see these commercially available in the next couple of seasons.”

With a record crop of more than 600,000 hectares in 2010-11 and ongoing high cotton prices, David Kelly said CSD is expecting a larger area for the 2011 plant and is anticipating adequate supplies of their key varieties, particularly Sicot 74BRF, Sicot 71BRF, Siokra 24BRF and Sicot 71RRF.

“Like all growers, we’ve got our fingers crossed for a dry pick as a fair proportion of next year’s seed is currently out in the field.”

David Kelly said crops in the Balonne were generally as good as he’s ever seen and looked forward to learning of their results as picking started in late March.

09 March 2011

Further information: David Kelly 0428 950 021