Cotton Australia to gov: focus on WUE and R&D programs for efficiency
In a recent water use efficiency inquiry, Cotton Australia has sent a clear message that the Federal Government should focus on water use efficiency (WUE) measures and investment in research, to help boost the overall productive performance of Australian agriculture, rather than a tool to recover water for the environment. Cotton Australia accompanied the Inquiry’s visit to Darling Downs property 'Leigh-Haven', Gwydir Valley property ‘Keytah’ and the Australian Cotton Research Institute in the Namoi Valley to discuss the cotton industry's intense focus on water use efficiency, which means Australian growers produce 'more crop per drop' than anywhere in the world. Cotton Australia also formally presented to the Inquiry’s Toowoomba hearing.
Cotton Australia pursues improved NBN and SkyMuster services for growers
Cotton Australia has called for vast improvements to be made to the National Broadband Network (nbn), in particular nbn’s SkyMuster satellite service, offered to rural and regional users. Technology is no longer a luxury, but an everyday necessity for Australian cotton businesses to compete in the global marketplace. There is still some way to go before the NBN is able to meet the needs of our industry, now and into the future, as we look to new and emerging on-farm technologies.
Case study: Emerald growers on their sustainability commitments and BCI
Nigel and Beth Burnett own and manage Colorada Cotton in Emerald, Queensland, and became myBMP-certified 12 months ago. The Burnetts spoke to the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) recently, and say they “are proud of our sustainability efforts and believe it is important to promote this for advocacy, social licence and most importantly we want to be part of an industry that is building a reputation of responsible production of fibre for the world market.”
Deadline extended: apply now for Qld electricity tariff trial
Cotton Australia encourages Queensland growers to participate in the Agricultural Tariff Trial offered by the State Government and Ergon Energy. Interested growers now have until May 2, 2017, to apply for the trial. The trial is designed to help farmers and irrigators prepare for the loss of the transitional tariffs 62, 65 and 66 in 2020, and to help Ergon better understand the potential to offer controlled load and seasonal demand tariffs. Grower participation is strongly encouraged by Cotton Australia as it will help demonstrate to the Queensland Government why rising electricity costs and inappropriate tariff design are major issues for our industry.
Save the write-off: tell the Treasurer to back Aussie farmers
Proposed tax changes in the upcoming Federal Budget threaten to undermine farm investment by removing the ability for all small businesses (including farms) to immediately depreciate capital investments of $20,000 or less. Cotton Australia has joined calls from the National Farmers’ Federation for Treasurer Scott Morrison to preserve the instant capital write-off provisions for small business in the 2017-2018 Budget. Have your say – use the simple online form below to send an e-mail to the Treasurer, asking him to extend these measures beyond June 30, 2017.
Are you cotton's next Nuffield scholar?
Applications are now open for the 2018 Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships. Jointly with the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, Cotton Australia is a proud supporter of the Nuffield Scholarship program, supporting at least one cotton grower annually to undertake the program. Recent cotton industry scholars include growers Tom Quigley, Trangie; Matt McVeigh, Dalby; and Nigel Corish, Goondiwindi. Applications for the 2018 Nuffield scholarships close on June 16, 2017.
New video resources to help growers avoid spray drift
CottonInfo interviewed Mary O’Brien and filmed a practical demonstration of air movement under inversion conditions using smoke flares. Spraying under surface temperature inversion conditions – in the early morning or during daytime conditions – can be considered unsafe as the potential for off-target movement of droplets increases significantly. Click below to view the CottonInfo videos.
Aussie cotton grower talks plant biotech in Manila
Griffith cotton grower, Ben Dal Broi, represented Australia at the 11th Pan-Asia Farmers Exchange Program, in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, from March 20-25, 2017. The event was sponsored by Croplife Asia. Click below to hear directly from Ben about his experience.
Reminder: NSW AgSkilled program seeking early EOIs
$14.7 million in funding has been allocated for vocational training for the NSW cotton and grains industries over three years as part of the AgSkilled program. NSW growers are now invited to submit an early expression of interest. Funding has been made available to on-farm staff and industry professionals for full and part qualifications.
CottonSafe resources: vehicle safety
Motor vehicle crashes and rollover can cause death and serious injury to drivers and passengers on cotton farms. Drivers and passengers without seatbelts – especially workers and children riding unrestrained on the back of a ute – are at an increased risk of falling or being injured during a crash. The most serious of these is being thrown or ejected from a vehicle during a rollover. See below for Cotton Australia’s CottonSafe resources.
Last chance to register for Queensland ChemClear collection
Queensland growers and landholders have until April 28, 2017, to register for the June ChemClear collection scheduled across the state. ChemClear assists growers with the removal of unwanted agricultural and veterinary chemicals. More than 178 tonnes of chemicals have been collected from Queensland since 2006. It is easy to register unwanted chemicals online at the link below or by ringing the ChemClear hotline: 1800 008 182
ICAC update: China refines its cotton policy
The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) has released its latest update indicating that China has refined its cotton policy, announced a new target price for cotton grown in Xinjiang. After several seasons of decline, China’s mill use is projected to rise by 2% to 7.6 million tons in 2016/17 and by 1% to 7.7 million tons in 2017/18. Globally, cotton production is forecast to grow by 1% to 23.1 million tons in 2017/18 as high prices in 2016/17 encourage farmers to plant cotton.
Cotton Seed Distributors celebrates 50th milestone
Cotton Seed Distributors (CSD) have celebrated 50 years of service to the Australian cotton industry with a gala dinner at its ‘Shenstone’ cotton seed processing plant and laboratory near Wee Waa, NSW. Over 300 guests, including Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay, past and present growers, staff and industry partners, gathered to mark the occasion and recognise those who have contributed to CSD over the years.