2014 in review: achievements and challenges
Cotton Australia’s core business is to champion the interests of growers and the industry to powerful politicians, regulators and policy makers. Our team has worked tirelessly on behalf of growers over the course of 2014 to advance our critical policy and advocacy initiatives. Cotton Australia has also continued our work in the areas of research direction, stewardship, grower services and community, education and workforce capacity campaigns.
Global fashion trends seminars share the story of cotton with Australian fashion designers, labels and brand owners
Cotton Australia joined forces with Cotton Incorporated in December 2014 to bring a global cotton trends seminar to Australia for the first time. The events were designed to inspire designers and brands to apply cotton fabrics to innovative and emerging garment designs, silhouettes, patterns and finishes.
Cotton Australia submission supports more competitive agricultural sector
In a submission to the Federal Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper, Cotton Australia was supportive of the key objective of the previous White Paper – to achieve a better return at the farm gate and promote a sustainable and competitive Australian agricultural sector.
Cotton industry welcomes Queensland’s new Agricultural Energy Council
The cotton industry has welcomed the establishment of the Agricultural Energy Council that brings together Queensland’s agricultural representatives and the Queensland Government to tackle high electricity costs. A memorandum of understanding was signed last week by the Queensland Farmers’ Federation - of which Cotton Australia is a member, AgForce, the Queensland Government, and other agricultural bodies.
The next gen: students graduate from Emerald Agricultural College
The cotton industry was proud to join celebrations marking the success of Emerald Agricultural College graduates. The graduation ceremony - held December 12, 2014 - was attended by more than 200 people including Cotton Australia’s Central Highlands Regional Manager, Renee Anderson, Central Highlands Cotton Growers & Irrigators Association (CHCGIA) President, Emma McCullagh, and grower Ross Burnett. Jamie Taylor received the Cotton Australia and CHCGIA-sponsored scholarship in support of his broad-acre cropping and irrigation farming studies at the College. Renee Anderson was proud to present Sarah Halleen with the Cotton Australia-sponsored Highest Achiever Award for the Diploma of Agribusiness Management. Cotton Australia congratulates all of the students graduating this year.
SunWater irrigation schemes to be managed by local Queensland irrigators
Queensland farmers and irrigators will be handed control of the state’s eight channel irrigation schemes in a move that will benefit agriculture and the communities which depend on it. Queensland Minister for Energy and Water Supply, Mark McArdle, said transferring the management of the SunWater schemes to local farmers was now ready to move to the next phase.
CRDC 2013-14 Annual Report released
The Cotton Research and Development Corporation’s 2013-14 Annual Report was tabled in Federal Parliament last week. The report highlights the major achievements from cotton research, development and extension led by the CRDC during the year. This year marked the first year of investment under the CRDC's 2013-18 Strategic R&D Plan, with investments across five core areas: farmers, industry, customers, people and performance. Cotton Australia’s grower advisory panels continue to play an important role to guarantee that the CRDC research and development effort is focused on grower needs.
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CSD releases 2014 Variety Trial Result Book
Cotton Seed Distributors released the 2014 Variety Trial Result Book following tests of current and potential varieties to assess field performance. The purpose of the booklet is to provide growers, agronomists and consultants comprehensive trial performance information to assist in informed decision making.
WHS resources: legal responsibilities for the cotton sector
Employers, workers and contractors in the cotton industry are encouraged to access new fact sheets covering work health and safety (WHS) legislative responsibilities and information to help meet these requirements. The information - available here - has been prepared by Tony Lower from the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health & Safety (University of Sydney) on behalf of the Primary Industries Health and Safety Partnership (PIHSP). A more complete guide can be found here.
Cotton Innovation Network meets in Canberra
The Cotton Innovation Network, formed to coordinate the cotton industry’s research and development activity and ensure a collaborative and cohesive approach to achieving our industry’s long term goals, met at the end of November in Canberra. The meeting was chaired by Liverpool Plains cotton growers Juanita Hamparsum and was attended by Cotton Australia’s Policy Manager for Queensland and Water, Michael Murray, as well as representatives from the CRDC, CSD, CSIRO, the Federal Department of Agriculture, NSW DPI, QDAFF, and the Australian Council of the Deans of Agriculture. Discussion points included the launch of the Australian Grown Cotton Sustainability Report by Cotton Australia and the CRDC, Cotton Australia’s attendance at the Shanghai Intertextile Trade Fair, CSIRO’s cotton research activities remaining unchanged despite restructuring, Cotton Breeding Australia’s commissioned research document - “Futures Fibre Report”, and a review of the industry’s research pathways. Click below for more information about the Cotton Innovation Network.
ICAC update: cotton production falls in Southern Hemisphere
The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) reports that in 2014/15, world cotton production is projected to remain stable at 26.2 million tons despite a 3% increase in area to 33.7 million hectares. Northern Hemisphere production is projected up 2%. In contrast, area in the Southern Hemisphere is forecast down 12% to 3 million hectares, the lowest level in five seasons, due to low world prices.
Christmas and New Year considerations: IR expert
Industrial relations expert Bob Kellow (Industrial Mediation Services) outlines considerations for the Christmas and New Year period. Employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all employees at work-related functions and should take reasonable precautions to prevent inappropriate behaviour.