Darling Downs grower achieves best practice success

For Darling Downs cotton grower Howard Rother, attaining certification in the Australian cotton industry’s best practices program myBMP was something he had wanted to accomplish for many years.

It was his daughter and a collaborative ‘Tractor Talks’ information session that gave him an extra push to reach his goal.

“There were a lot of things that the myBMP process encouraged us to do that we hadn’t done before - like bottom-fill fuel tanks, capacity monitors in our dam, bunding on our chemical shed, waste oil management,” Howard said.

“These are things that we should have done a long time ago, but this encouraged us to do that and I’m glad I did.”

Howard credited Cotton Australia team members Rob Crothers, Nicole Scott and Rick Kowitz for helping get him across the line; but his daughter also helped, as did the many chats he had about the program while out on the farm.

Howard said once he got into it, the myBMP process was not onerous, particularly given the helpful advice that was always on tap. The extra motivation was the opportunity to change things that he knew he should be doing.

“The cost wasn’t great, [and] there was some rebates involved,” Howard said.

“It makes me feel good. The values of myBMP are what we do as a family - it aligns with our values, so we made the effort to do it.”

As one of the newest Darling Downs cotton farmers to achieve certification, Howard will now enjoy the financial incentives that come with reaching that level, and he has strong encouragement for anyone who is not yet accredited.

“I’d encourage them to do it, it’s not as onerous as you might think,” Howard said.

“There’s a lot of support from Rob and Rick and others that help you and give you ideas. The audit itself was quite pleasant.

“I would encourage growers to do it.”

Words by Darrin Davies