Cotton Matters - 24th February 2022
Exciting new partnership launched with Cotton On Kids
Children’s clothing brand Cotton On Kids has launched its first range of Australian cotton garments both here in Australia and across the globe – with more to come.
Cotton Australia is excited to announce this new partnership with Cotton On Kids, who has added sustainable Australian grown cotton to the brand’s raw materials portfolio.
In launching the new garments, Cotton On Kids is also telling the stories of two cotton farmers from Emerald, Queensland, who were filmed in the field earlier in the season.
Cotton farmers Aaron and Carly Kiely along with Laine and Lucy Thompson, and their children, will feature in a series of in-store and online promotional material connecting consumers with where their cotton clothing started out in the field.
City students discover Aussie cotton
Cotton Australia’s education team taught city-based students about the cotton industry at an event in Sydney last week.
Education Manager Jenny Hughes ran workshops for primary school students at the Farm Days event, hosted by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW.
The event was a hands-on, interactive excursion for city students who are geographically isolated from farming communities. It gave them an understanding of the origins of food and fibre, and how farmers are supported with the use of advanced technology to sustainably manage the country they live and work on.
More than 300 students attended during the week.
Queensland Agriculture Minister visits Cotton Australia
Queensland’s Agriculture minister, Mark Furner, met members of Cotton Australia’s team in Toowoomba last week.
During the meeting, the impacts on agriculture from CSG development, labour shortages, and the removal of stamp duty on crop/income protection insurance products, among other topics, were discussed.
Cotton Australia’s Chairman Nigel Burnett also advocated on behalf of growers during a meeting with Mr Furner later in the week.
Update: Cotton industry 4th environmental assessment takes next steps
The Australian cotton industry has commissioned an independent expert to conduct an in-depth assessment of its environmental performance.
The assessment has been commissioned by Cotton Australia, CRDC, and the industry’s Sustainability Working Group and is being conducted by respected global firm GHD. It is the fourth external examination of cotton’s environmental performance in 30 years.
GHD will soon be approaching possible candidates in each valley to host an on-farm visit by the GHD team. It is anticipated that the visit will take up to four hours, and will involve both an interview with the grower, plus a tour of the farm.
As part of the farm tour, the GHD team will request to view different parts of the site and the farm’s operations, such as chemical and fuel storages and fertiliser management, water management, management of the natural environment, waste management and minimisation and participation in sustainability programmes and initiatives.
Importantly, growers will not be individually identified in the research: the results will be aggregated via valley with key industry findings and recommendations regarding the industry’s environmental performance captured in a final report and industry newsletters and publications.
Responses from interviews and observations from site visits will be recorded against standard criteria to gain an understanding of current environmental performance as well as key areas of ongoing industry achievement, improvement (from previous assessments) and emerging best practice.
Growers that participate in the Assessment by on-farm visits will also have the opportunity to anonymously express their opinions on the state of the industry and future areas for focus in environmental management.
GHD has also prepared a survey to gather insights and perspectives from a wide range of stakeholders; if you’d like to participate, more details can be found by clicking the button below.
Your help is needed: having your say on regional wellbeing in cotton regions
All in the cotton industry are encouraged to have their say on wellbeing through a shortened version of the University of Canberra Regional Wellbeing Survey.
In December last year, the Regional Wellbeing Survey was conducted. Unfortunately, the survey arrived at a busy time for many people working in the cotton industry, and we need more people from the cotton industry (growers, employees, contractors) to complete it for the data to be statistically meaningful.
We have prepared a shorter survey (20-30minutes) to make it easier to take participate.
The survey is important because the results and data will inform our industry’s sustainability targets for wellbeing. We would appreciate you taking part in the survey so we can better understand how the wellbeing of cotton growers and agricultural workers is changing.
We appreciate your time and the first 100 cotton industry growers and industry members who complete the survey will be given the choice of receiving a $30 gift card.
By having your say, you will be playing your part and contributing to our industry’s sustainability reporting for wellbeing.
Closing date is 18th March, 2022.
Farm Business Resilience funding update
Cotton Australia is partnering with the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) to deliver the recently announced joint federal-state funded Farm Business Resilience Program.
In summary, Australian governments are seeking to move away from transactional drought assistance programmes (such as subsidies for transport of fodder) to a model that assists farmers to increase their business’s resilience to all the variables that markets, climate and other factors throw ate them.
Key to this is farmers thinking carefully about their businesses, the risks they face, and mitigation factors they can implement, and documenting it is a Farm Business Resilience Plan.
In Queensland, farmers who successfully complete a Farm Business Resilience Plan can apply for a grant of up to $50,000 to assist in implementing actions that were identified in the plan.
Cotton Australia can provide practical assistance in helping to better understand the planning process, and the actual production of a plan.
The Commonwealth and Queensland Governments can help fund the cost of professional advice used to develop the plan, and the implementation of the plans.
The exact nature of the Cotton Australia project is being finalised, but if you would like to register your interest in this exciting program, please email Michael Murray on [email protected] or phone 0427 707 868.
These links provide more information regarding the government assistance:
- Drought Preparedness Grant – up to $50,000
- Farm Management Grant to help prepare a Farm Business Resilience Plan
Growers reminded about effective and safe spraying
As the season reaches its final phase, growers are reminded to spray with best practice.
The CottonInfo extension team has compiled a suite of resources to ensure growers are effective in their spray applications and avoid off-target spray drift.
Growers are reminded to read and follow spray label instructions, ensure you are up to date with the APVMA label changes to 2,4-D products, check the current and forecast conditions before spraying, and never spray when there is a surface temperature inversion.
Warwick Waters honoured with award
CottonInfo’s extension manager, Warwick Waters, has been recognised at the Australasia-Pacific
Extension Network (APEN) Awards for Excellence in Extension.
Mr Waters was the joint recipient of the APEN Open Award for Excellence in Extension.
All extension professionals, both individuals and groups, around across
Australasia who have demonstrated excellence in extension through a work program completed
within the last five years were eligible to nominate.