Cotton Matters 23 August 2017

Tuesday, 22nd August 2017 // Cotton Matters, Featured // Comments (0)

Australian brand Katies joins the Australian cotton fold

With spring just around the corner, Katies is the latest brand to add Australian cotton into its product line. A range of women’s t-shirts are available to consumers now, and Katies are featuring a number of Australian cotton women in their blog posts over the coming month to promote the industry and the range.

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Telecoms issues pursued with parliamentarians

Cotton Australia Policy Officer Angela Bradburn recently joined the National Farmers’ Federation and members of the Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition (RRRCC) to brief 19 parliamentarians. The meetings pursued better telecommunications for our industry and regional areas and were held in early August 2017, following meetings with 50 parliamentarians by the RRRCC in March.

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AgSkilled kicks off with drone training

July 1, 2017 marked the start of the AgSkilled training strategy, the NSW Government’s $14.7 million investment in training for the NSW cotton and grains industries. The funding was allocated following a joint application by Cotton Australia and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), and will subsidise a broad range of vocational training for those with a genuine interest in the NSW cotton or grains industries. The first AgSkilled training kicked off this month with 26 employees from CSIRO Narrabri completing a drone ‘Flight Foundations’ course with AgSkilled-endorsed registered training organisation, UAVAIR.

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Advancing mealybug options in Queensland

Cotton Australia has been working with the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) and the agricultural chemical regulator, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), to address the threat of mealybug in Queensland. The work builds on data from a CRDC-funded Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) project to make the case to allow new chemical products to be applied for mealybug incursions. Cotton Australia advises Queensland cotton growers that Integrated Pest Management strategies supporting beneficial insects are still the most effective way to combat mealybug and that no chemical will provide 100% control.

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Last chance to have your say: area-wide mgt plans for Silverleaf whitefly

The Cotton Australia-facilitated TIMS (Transgenic and Insect Management Strategies) Committee recently wrote to each Southern CGA (excluding Central Queensland) to request grower feedback on a regional 30-day window for pyriproxyfen application to address emerging resistance risks for Silverleaf whitefly (SLW). Growers are encouraged to discuss the issue directly with their local CGA representatives (noting that the process has already taken place in some valleys). Feedback is due by September 1, 2017.

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Reminder: water to the Downs consultation events today

The NuWater project is examining the opportunity for growers on the Darling Downs to potentially access recycled wastewater from treatment plants in SE Qld. QFF, of which Cotton Australia is a member, has been provided with funding by the Commonwealth Government under the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to undertake a feasibility study for the project. The next stage of the feasibility study involves a targeted round of conversations with growers, to supplement the surveys already taken. Consultants will hold a grower open consultation day on the Darling Downs on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, from 9am to 12noon at the Cecil Plains Hall and from 1pm to 5pm at Mary's Commercial Hotel, Dalby.

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Queensland Workplace Essentials workshop: register now

Enrol now to attend a Workplace Essentials workshop and get the information and resources you need to boost your farm business’ health, safety and people management skills. They have been specifically tailored for farm managers, team leaders and supervisors and will include practical activities. Some of the 2017 locations and dates include Goondiwindi (12/09/17), Stanthorpe (13/09/17), Emerald (23/10/17), and in 2018, Chinchilla (21/02/18). Registration is essential and costs $30 per person (includes workshop, resources, morning and afternoon tea, and lunch). The workshops are funded by the Queensland Government and facilitated by the Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network (QAWN).

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Work with us: communications and policy roles

Cotton Australia is currently seeking a Graduate Policy Officer (Brisbane, Toowoomba or Sydney) and a Communications Assistant (Sydney) to be part of a small but dynamic team working on behalf of the Australian cotton industry. More information about both roles is available at the link below. If you know someone who would be a suitable candidate for either role, please encourage them to apply.

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Reminder: register for voluntary broadband performance monitoring programs

In the last few months, both the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and CHOICE have embarked on monitoring projects in recognition of the significant issues consumers have been experiencing when selecting and using internet services. There is a critical need for accurate, independent and comparable information on performance. Both projects are currently calling for expressions of interest from potential volunteers. Expressions of interest close August 31, 2017, for the ACCC program.

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Agvet chemical recall

4Farmers Australia Pty Ltd has commenced a voluntary recall of the registered chemical product Clopyralid 300 Selective Herbicide (55985). The product may be used in cereals and canola rotation crops in our cotton regions. This recall is being conducted due to one batch (17017/2) suspected of causing crop damage. People in possession of the product concerned should direct any questions they may have regarding the voluntary recall to 4Farmers Australia Pty Ltd.

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Applications open for the 2018 Science and Innovation Awards

Grant applications are now open for the 2018 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. If you are aged 18-35, this is your chance to apply for a grant of up to $22,000 to fund your project on an innovative or emerging scientific issue that will benefit Australia’s primary industries. ​There are 11 industry Science Award categories open for applications, including cotton, grains and others. The program is supported by the research and development corporations and industry organisations, including the CRDC. The 2017 cotton Science Award was received by Priscilla Johnston, whose project further investigated a ‘smart’ polymer she created for use in agriculture as part of her postdoctoral research.

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NSW EPA releases aerial spraying facilities guidelines

New guidelines have been released to assist the aerial spraying industry understand the regulations and responsibilities in the operation of on-ground aerial spraying facilities in NSW. The guidelines were released by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in consultation with Cotton Australia, Local Government NSW, SafeWork NSW and the Aerial ApplicationAssociation of Australia (AAAA). It will be useful for those in the industry seeking to construct new aerial spraying facilities and for operators who need to upgrade and manage existing facilities. 

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Launch events: Aither Water Markets Report

Growers and industry representatives are invited to the launch of the 2016-17 Aither Water Markets Report to be held in Canberra (August 30, 2017) and Sydney (September 5, 2017). During the sessions, Aither will present its analysis of the 2016-17 water year and outlook for the 2017-18 season. Each session will include a guest speaker and facilitated panel discussion with government and industry experts on the future of water markets and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. There will be time for questions and answers and the opportunity for discussion and networking over drinks or morning tea.

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