Take action now: tell the MDBA that water recovery must stop
With just under one month to go in the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s (MDBA) Northern Basin Review consultation period, it is now critical for growers, others in the industry and community members to lodge a written submission. Lend your support to the #MoreThanFlow campaign and send a clear message to the MDBA that enough is enough - water recovery must stop. Making a submission is easy. Use the link below to make submission directly to the MDBA. Submissions are due by February 10, 2017.
2016: another year of delivering value for growers through myBMP
Each year the cotton industry works hard to ensure myBMP delivers more value for its growers. Now consisting of ten modules, the recently refreshed myBMP program helps growers manage and grow their businesses. The program assists growers to meet regulatory requirements, reduce risks, implement industry best practice, and provides a pathway for innovation by connecting growers with the latest science and research. More recently it has been helping cotton growers to access premium international markets.
Severe damage serves as warning to all farmers to prevent spray drift
Farmers have been warned to be vigilant of off-target spray drift, following widespread damage to CSIRO experimental cotton plots at the Australian Cotton Research Institute (ACRI) near Narrabri. CSIRO Lead Cotton Breeder Dr Warwick Stiller reported severe damage to all of CSIRO’s experimental conventional cotton plots in November after a Group M herbicide drifted from its intended target. The damage to the crop is so severe it will impact the industry’s cotton breeding program. Cotton Australia is also investigating damage reported by growers in a number of valleys and reminds all farmers, regardless of what chemical is applied, to use best practice guides and tools to prevent damage to nearby farms.
Have your say on poor telecommunications in the bush
Cotton Australia is researching telecommunications problems experienced by growers in order to improve services, and we need your help. We are asking growers to outline their experiences with internet connectivity, particularly the nbn. The information will be to be used to help Cotton Australia demonstrate and resolve the range of telecommunications issues faced by cotton farmers and their communities, and the limitations this can place on productivity.
Backpacker Tax reminder: employers must register with ATO
As growers will be aware, tax rates for working holiday makers (backpackers) with visa sub-class 417 and 462 change from January 1, 2017. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) requires all businesses employing (or planning to employ) working holiday makers (backpackers) to register by January 31, 2017.
Cotton farm safety facts: electrical safety
Electrocution on farms is not uncommon. Recent fatalities have involved trucks making contact (or near contact) with overhead powerlines and the drivers or bystanders being electrocuted. Each cotton season, there are many reports of overhead power line strikes and near miss incidents involving pickers, module trucks, boll buggies, module builders, spray rigs and aircraft. See Cotton Australia’s CottonSafe resource for practical electrical safety information:
Reminder: farmers and beekeepers urged to use BeeConnected
Cotton Australia has joined with the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) in calling on all farmers and beekeepers to use BeeConnected to better communicate with each other to protect bees and crops. Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay says the BeeConnected app facilitates communication between farmers and beekeepers as a tool to ensure crop protection is conducted safely, responsibly and according to label requirements.
Irrigation modernisation funding available in Northern NSW
Northern NSW irrigators can now apply for funding to upgrade on-farm infrastructure from two programs. All irrigators with eligible entitlements from the Lower Namoi and Border Rivers catchments can apply for funding via the Sustaining the Basin: Irrigated Farm Modernisation (STBIFM) program. All irrigators with eligible entitlements in the NSW Border Rivers, Gwydir, Namoi/Peel, Macquarie/Cudgegong and Barwon/Darling water management districts can apply for funding via the Irrigated Farm Water Use Efficiency Assessment (IFWUEA) program. Applications are open until June 30, 2017.
Safety reminder: high pressure blow down guns
The use of blow down guns is common in many parts of the industry for cleaning up lint and trash. They are used commonly in gins and for cleaning down on-farm harvesting machinery. Misuse, especially in cases where they have no trigger, can lead to serious injury and blindness. Workplace Health and Safety Queensland advises that the device needs to be controlled with a trigger to effectively control air flow, and stop air flow if the device is dropped. Workers can have dust, foreign objects or high pressure air blown into their eyes.
Join Cotton Australia at Parkes dryland cotton field day
First-time dryland cotton growers – Bruce Watson and Mark & Katrina Swift – will be sharing their experiences at a number of dryland demonstration field days throughout the season. The CSD and Monsanto event will be hosted at the ‘Parkes Plains’ farm, 9am, Thursday 12 January, 2017. Industry representatives – including Cotton Australia Regional Manager (Southern NSW) Honi Anderson – will be on hand to discuss dryland cotton growing considerations. Registration is essential. Click below for more information and to register.