Australian cotton’s myBMP environmental program

  • The widespread adoption of the myBMP (Best Management Practices) program has helped to deliver a responsible Australia cotton industry which is regarded as maintaining the world’s best practices and is seen as a model for change by other sectors of Australian agriculture
  • myBMP is a farm and environmental management system for cotton growers to ensure that Australian cotton is produced according to best practice
  • The original BMP program began in 1997 and was reviewed and redeveloped in 2006-07. The current online system re-launched in 2010 as myBMP
  • myBMP allows growers and industry to access the latest technical data and research, find solutions to challenges and provides practical tools to help growers operate at maximum efficiency
  • There are many benefits to the cotton industry’s commitment to responsible production through myBMP. These include safer farm workplaces, healthier natural environments, reduced input costs, better run farm businesses and improved community health
  • myBMP assists cotton growers to keep pesticide use to a minimum, control weeds and diseases, maximise water use efficiency, improve soil health, protect and retain native animals and vegetation

Cotton farmers assess, document, monitor and are audited in 11 key areas of farm operations:

  • Biosecurity – for prevention, management and control of pests and diseases
  • Biotechnology – adherence to the requirements of genetically modified cotton varieties
  • Energy and Input Efficiency - for more efficient energy inputs such as electricity and fuel
  • Fibre Quality - for growing the best quality cotton possible
  • Human Resources and Work Health and Safety - helps growers manage employees and contractors whilst providing a safe and compliant workplace
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) - for management of pests, weeds and diseases
  • Natural Assets - for managing soil, water and biodiversity on farm
  • Pesticide Management - for all aspects of pesticide management, storage and use on farm
  • Petrochemical Storage and Handling - for managing fuels and lubricants on farm
  • Soil Health - for maintaining and/or improving soil quality and crop nutrition
  • Water Management - covering water quality, efficiency of storage and distribution for both dryland and irrigated farming practices
     
  • Practical examples of myBMP include using natural techniques (like pupae busting) and softer chemicals to target particular pests, tail water recycling, crop rotations and stubble retention to improve soil health and retain soil moisture and irrigation scheduling and monitoring tools to limit water usage
  • Cotton Australia’s ‘Cotton to Market’ program was established to create confidence to use cotton in the textile supply chain, position Australian cotton in a future that demands responsibly-produced cotton and create value for Australia’s cotton growers. In 2014, Cotton Australia signed a landmark agreement with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) on behalf of Australia’s cotton industry. The agreement transfers a BCI licence to Australian cotton produced under myBMP certification and this agreement allows Australian cotton growers to participate more easily in that expanding market

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© Cotton Australia 2016. This material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International License (CC BY CC BY-NC 4)