With picking season well underway and many growers trying cotton for the first time, Cotton Australia has issued a timely reminder about the risk of feeding cotton stubble and gin trash to cattle and livestock.
While the use of endosulfan in cotton has been drastically reduced in recent years and the active ingredient within that chemical now being phased out, the potential for even tiny residues to be detected domestically or in export beef products could endanger the Australian beef industry.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Cattle Council of Australia and the Cotton Industry prevents livestock from access to cotton fields that may have been treated with endosulfan and prohibits the use of cotton waste in stock feed.
This MoU has been a vital tool protecting our beef export industries by making sure that cotton waste products are never feed to cattle.
Along with the potential for contamination cotton trash is also a very poor feed with an inferior nutritive value compared to any alternative feed source.
Cotton seed which is subject to rigorous testing remains a very useful product for both extensive cattle producers and lot feeders and continues to be excluded from the terms of the MoU.