Cotton Australia issues spray drift warning surrounding storm rainfall
With storm rain falling across some of Australia’s cotton growing regions recently, Cotton Australia has again urged all farmers to take action to prevent off-target spray drift. Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay encourages all farmers to use best practice guides and tools to prevent damage to neighbouring farms from off-target spray drift. The CottonInfo team have also put together information regarding the key considerations for growers and consultants to help you to optimise spray application this season.
Make your voice heard on water buybacks: lodge a written submission
More than 450 community members attended the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s (MDBA) Northern Basin Review consultation sessions in November and early December. It is now critical for all members of the community - growers, irrigators, business owners and others - to lodge a written submission. Lend your support to the #MoreThanFlow campaign and send a clear message to the MDBA that enough is enough - water recovery must stop. Making a submission is easy. Use the link below to make submission directly to the MDBA. With many families and friends coming together over the holiday season, please use this opportunity to encourage them to lodge a submission online.
Farmers and beekeepers urged to use BeeConnected
Cotton Australia has joined with the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) in calling on all farmers and beekeepers to use BeeConnected to better communicate with each other to protect bees and crops. Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay says the BeeConnected app facilitates communication between farmers and beekeepers as a tool to ensure crop protection is conducted safely, responsibly and according to label requirements.
Backpacker Tax: employers must register with ATO
As growers will be aware, tax rates for working holiday makers (backpackers) with visa sub-class 417 and 462 change from January 1, 2017. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) requires all businesses employing (or planning to employ) working holiday makers (backpackers) to register by January 31, 2017.
Queensland ‘Murray-Darling Basin store and release code of practice’ published
Queensland’s Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, Dr Steven Miles, has released a code of practice for the release of stored water from privately owned farm storages to receiving waters in the Queensland Murray-Darling Basin. The code was produced by the Queensland Government and Cotton Australia in conjunction with the Queensland Farmers’ Federation, Smartrivers and Border Rivers Food and Fibre.
Stamp duty exemption good news for Queensland growers
In a win for Queensland cotton growers, the State Government has committed to including water assets in the stamp duty relief measures previously announced in the July 2016 State Budget. The announcement by the Government followed an active campaign by Cotton Australia and the Queensland Farmers' Federation to achieve a common sense outcome.
Broken Hill pipeline project progresses
Cotton Australia has welcomed the announcement by the NSW Government that WaterNSW has been appointed to build, own and operate the 270km pipeline from the Murray River to Broken Hill. Construction of the pipeline is expected to begin in 2017 and be complete by late 2018.
How to opt in to BCI for 2017
Australian growers now have access to premium markets for cotton grown on myBMP (Best Management Practices) certified farms by opting in to BCI. Growers aiming to sell Better Cotton in the 2016/17 season are invited to opt in for the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) now. Australian cotton growers must do three things to qualify as a BCI grower:
- Achieve myBMP certification by February 26, 2017
- Pay your full Cotton Australia levy
- Opt in for BCI
Cotton farm safety facts: vehicles
Motor vehicle crashes and rollovers 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 injury, during a crash or a fall. The most serious of these is being thrown or ejected from a vehicle during a rollover. See Cotton Australia’s CottonSafe resource for practical vehicle safety information.
Cotton community grant funding announced
A further 30 not-for-profit and community organisations across cotton growing regions will benefit from a $5000 boost as the 2016 Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grants are awarded again. The grants are offered by the Monsanto Fund in partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR). Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay says that “in some cases, the grants have acted as seed funding, enabling organisations to get projects off the ground, or they’ve been the missing piece between a project going ahead or not”.
Reminder: subsidised quad bike training in NSW
Growers are reminded that Tocal College in partnership with SafeWork NSW is offering subsidised quad bike training to eligible farmers and their workers at various locations across NSW. The one-day course is designed to assist farmers and farm workers implement safety measures around the use of quad bikes on farms. This course is mapped to the National Unit of Competency AHCMOM212 (Operate quad bikes and tailored to the experience level of attendees).
NSW growers invited to participate in Biosecurity Attitudinal Research
The NSW Department of Primary Industries is undertaking research on levels of biosecurity awareness, attitudes, understanding and behaviours of primary producers, allied industries and rural and metropolitan communities in NSW. The information from the research will assist in the future development of materials, frameworks and communications to support the implementation of the Biosecurity Act 2015 and supporting regulations as well as the ongoing implementation of the NSW Government’s Biosecurity Strategy.