Farm tour connects major brands with Aussie cotton
Leading figures from companies including Jeanswest, H&M, IKEA, Target Australia, Hanes Brands Australasia, CottonON, Country Road, Rivers and more connected with our industry earlier this month. Cotton Australia’s tour included visits to Auscott’s Narrabri farm and gin, and the Australian Cotton Research Institute. Global interest in sustainable, responsible cotton production continues to grow, and so events like this play a vital role in informing important stakeholders about how our industry operates, and why they can place their trust in our growers and industry.
Domestic mobile roaming draft decision handed down
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) handed down its draft decision not to declare wholesale domestic mobile roaming last week. The move has been welcomed by Cotton Australia and the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), members of the Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition (RRRCC).
Budget 2017: what cotton growers need to know
The Federal Government handed up its 2017-18 Budget on May 9, 2017. Cotton Australia’s view is that, on the whole, the Budget is a reasonably neutral one for cotton growers and the industry. However, there are a couple of areas of concern, including a lack of new funding for mobile blackspots and the route for the inland rail project, and Cotton Australia and its allies will continue to advocate on behalf of growers on these important issues.
MDBA formally recommends recovery target amendments
The Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has this week written to Ministerial Council members and recommends progressing a variety of amendments to the Basin Plan. The MDBA is recommending the water recovery target for the Northern Basin be reduced from 390 gigalitres (GL) to 320GL. In his capacity as a spokesperson for the #MoreThanFlow campaign, Cotton Australia General Manager Michael Murray says: “I am not surprised that the Authority has maintained its recommendation for a 70GL reduction, however we are disappointed it has not gone further.” #MoreThanFlow members include: AgForce, Barwon-Darling Water, BRFF, GVIA, MRFF, Namoi Water, NFF, NIC, NSW Farmers, NSWIC, QFF, Smartrivers and Cotton Australia.
NSW growers urged to identify on-farm training needs
Cotton Australia encourages growers to have their say (via a short online survey) and help identify the training needs of the cotton and grains industries now and into the future. Together with the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), Cotton Australia is conducting a training needs survey to better understand the immediate and future training needs of NSW growers, on-farm staff and the broader industry. The survey will help inform the roll-out of the AgSkilled initiative.
Australian Cotton Industry Awards 2017 finalists announced
Growers, researchers and industry members from a large cross-section of cotton growing regions are amongst the finalists for this year’s Australian Cotton Industry Awards. Cotton Australia CEO, Adam Kay, says each of the finalists had made outstanding contributions to the industry, and deserved recognition. The Awards program now moves into the judging phase.
Matt McVeigh releases Nuffield report, applications open for 2018
Cotton industry-sponsored Nuffield Australia participant Matt McVeigh's report (see the link below) has been released. Matt travelled across 11 nations to research colour downgrades in cotton and find better ways the issue can be managed. Matt's participation was supported by Cotton Australia and the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC). Matt joins recent cotton industry scholars including Trangie grower Tom Quigley and Goondiwindi grower Nigel Corish. Applications are now open for the 2018 Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships. Jointly with the CRDC, Cotton Australia is a proud supporter of the Nuffield Scholarship 2018 program, supporting at least one cotton grower annually to undertake the program. Applications for the 2018 Nuffield scholarships close on June 16, 2017.
Scholarships available for undergrad uni students to attend Cotton Collective
In 2017, Cotton Australia will offer six $1000 scholarships to undergraduate students to attend the Cotton Collective (to be held from July 26-27, 2017, in Griffith). The scholarship is open to students studying agriculture, agricultural science (or similar) who are enrolled full time in undergraduate study at the following universities: Charles Sturt University, University of New England, University of Sydney, University of Southern Queensland or the University of Queensland. Applications close on June 9, 2017. This scholarship has been enabled by the Cotton Catchments Communities Co-operative Research Centre’s Legacy Fund. Please forward this information to suitable candidates.
Cotton weed management workshops for growers and consultants
Cotton growers and consultants are encouraged to attend cotton weed management workshops run by ICAN, in association with the CRDC and CottonInfo. Be sure to book early as numbers are limited. Locations include Dalby (11 July), Chinchilla (12 July), Talwood (13 July), Rowena (1 August), Pallamallawa (2 August), Bellata (3 August) and Gunnedah (4 August).
High pressure blow down guns: safety reminder
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.
Qld farm management grants now available
Farm management grants are now available to assist eligible Queensland primary producers or their relatives offset the costs of professional advice associated with succession planning. Costs eligible for the rebate include those for professional advice provided by suitably qualified professionals (accountants, succession advisors or solicitors, for example). Rebates of up to 50 percent of the amount paid for professional advice, to a maximum of $2500 for each financial year of the scheme, are available.
Family business and water asset concessions available in Qld
Queensland growers may be eligible for a concession on duty when property is transferred to certain family members. A valuation of any water assets may also be included in the transfer (for transactions dated before 12 October 2016) – an outcome sought by the Queensland Farmers’ Federation, Cotton Australia and others. Water assets are an inseparable part of irrigating farm businesses, and contribute considerably to the real value of the overall farming enterprise.
Essential Energy seeking feedback on proposed expenditure
In order to develop its upcoming regulatory proposal, Essential Energy is seeking feedback on a number of key issues to shape the organisation’s proposed expenditure for 2019-2024. Feedback can be made online (at the link below) or at a number of upcoming events at Tamworth Town Hall, 26-28 Fitzroy Street (May 30) and Dubbo RSL Memorial Club, 178 Brisbane Street (May 31). Cotton Australia has provided input into the proposal as a member of Essential Energy’s Customer Advocacy Group that represents a diverse cross-section of regional community representatives to provide insight and advice on electricity network issues.