Cotton Matters 30 December 2015

Thursday, 24th December 2015 // Cotton Matters // Comments (0)

Cotton Australia’s year in review, plans for 2016

The cotton season is well underway, and the turn of the year is an opportune time to reflect on the issues Cotton Australia has championed over behalf of growers in the past 12 months, and the challenges that lie ahead in 2016. Here’s an update from Cotton Australia CEO, Adam Kay.

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Cotton Australia takes action on spray drift

Following incidents in northern NSW and on Queensland’s Darling Downs, Cotton Australia has increased the tempo of its annual spray drift campaign. Cotton Australia’s Darling Downs Regional Manager, Mary O’Brien, took senior staff from the federal and state regulators – the APVMA and Biosecurity Queensland – on a tour of affected farms in the region, showing them first-hand the impacts of spray drift on cotton crops. The tour is a key part of Cotton Australia’s campaign to influence state and federal agencies to take action on off-target spray drift, particularly Phenoxy herbicides.

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Key findings from ICAC’s 74th Plenary, Mumbai

The Australian delegation representing our industry at the International Cotton Advisory Committee’s (ICAC) 74th Plenary meeting in Mumbai, India, joined approximately 400 cotton industry leaders and government representatives from more than 40 countries. Key topics included global supply and demand trends, sustainable supply chains and government subsidies.

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Cotton industry welcomes final IPART report, more work to be done
Cotton Australia has welcomed the recommendations made by the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) regarding compensation for landholders. Cotton Australia General Manager Michael Murray says that understandably, “many cotton growers remain deeply concerned about coal seam gas development in the state, and in particular the potential impacts on land and water resources, despite the efforts of IPART’s reports to bolster compensation regimes for landholders.” Mr Murray also acknowledges that there is more work to be done in order to ensure growers receive fair compensation for time spent during negotiations, and incurred costs.

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Qld water LMAs: call for Board members

In October 2015 the Queensland Government Department of Energy and Water Supply announced its intentions to continue progress towards Local Management Arrangements (LMAs) of SunWater irrigation channel schemes in St George, Emerald, Theodore and Eton. The Queensland Government is now seeking nominations for Chairperson and Board members to lead Transition Company Boards.

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2016 Australian Cotton Conference date claimer

Growers, their staff and industry representatives are encouraged to ‘save the date’ for the 18th Australian Cotton Conference to be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach, from August 2-4, 2016. Registration will open in 2016. The Conference Committee – led by Cecil Plains grower and Cotton Australia Board member Stuart Armitage – is currently drafting the program and considering potential speakers and topics. If you have any ideas for the program, including suggested speakers, please contact the Conference Committee by emailing cottonshippers@bigpond.com  For regular updates, follow the Cotton Conference Facebook page.

 

Spray drift management workshop held at Jimbour

More than 30 cotton and grain growers joined Cotton Australia at Jamie Grant’s ‘Kielli’ farm at Jimbour on the Darling Downs for a spray drift management workshop. The event was used to raise awareness of spray drift issues and factors, risk management and best practice strategies.

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Southern NSW Wincott event a huge success

Wincott’s ‘back to basics’ cotton information session and networking luncheon was well attended by Southern NSW women earlier this month at Darlington Point. Cotton Australia Regional Manager (Riverina), Honi Anderson, presented at the event alongside Wincott’s Southern NSW members and member representatives Caroline Tuohey, Amy Billsborough, Kate O’Callaghan, Linda Mackellar and Belinda Mulcahy.

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NFF leading digital transformation of Australian agriculture

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) – of which Cotton Australia is a member – announced a suite of measures to digitally transform Australian agriculture alongside Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The measures developed by the NFF include three key elements: a Digital Agriculture Service, an online platform for Australian farmers, and a new incubator for agriculture start-ups and technologies, called Sprout. The initiatives will go live over the course of 2016. For more information, and to subscribe to notifications as each element becomes available, visit the link below.

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Quad bikes: be fully prepared, wear protective gear and ride safe

To prevent quad bike accidents this summer, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is warning the community to be fully prepared, wear protective gear and ride safe. Tragically, 20 Australians have died in 2015 from quad bike accidents, including a number of young children. In 2014, there were 15 deaths – sadly, a 30 per cent increase in fatalities in 2015. January is the most common month for quad bike deaths among children in Australia. January also has twice the injury rate of other months. Cotton Australia encourages all growers and farm workers to visit the ACCC’s website for more information on how to stay safe when using quad bikes.

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