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Record cotton yield for Queensland?

Mar '07
The cotton management team at 'Arcturus Downs', Springsure believe they may have harvested the highest yielding cotton crop ever seen in Queensland, with one of their fields averaging 14.1 bales/ha or 5.7 bales per acre on the old scale.

“It's been a great team effort,” said cotton manager Greg Barnett, who, with on-farm agronomist Bec Kirby, and farm foreman Brett Coghill, have managed the 390ha crop.

“This year we planted 230ha on flood irrigated country and 160ha on sub-surface drip; it was all Sicot 71BR except for a small area of the new variety Sicot 80BRF,” Greg Barnett said.

“We planted on September 17 and applied eight irrigations to the flood country. We had a couple of weeks of wet, cloudy weather in February, but we don't seem to have the boll rot problems like some crops around Emerald.”

“A hail storm on October 31destroyed 113 ha and damaged the rest to some degree. We replanted some of the area and that is still a month or so from harvest”, he said.

“We have not had the extreme day temperatures during the middle of the growing season and night temperatures have been mostly cooler than average,” Bec Kirby added.

The team's attention to detail plays a big part in their success with each field checked 2-3 times a week right through the season, including detailed insect checks, and regular monitoring and benchmarking of crop growth using the Cotton CRC Crop Development tool.

“We have installed Enviroscan moisture monitoring probes at both the head and tail end of each of our flood irrigated fields and it's made a big difference to the way we irrigate. We're saving a lot more water and the yields this year speak for themselves,” Greg Barnett said.

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