This season in the upper Namoi region cotton growing is on the increase as thereâ€™s been a lot of first time grower for cotton almost 39 first time growers, said Landmark Gunnedah agronomist Aaron Goddard.
Especially dryland because the sorghum price has been quite low mostly, while the cotton price has been okay. So long as they had the moisture in the soil, theyâ€™ll give it a go for the first time, he said.
Monsanto regional business manager, Paul Brady said that in the upper Namoi, irrigated cotton accounted for approximately 17,400 hectares, with dryland accounting for approximately 36,000 hectares.
Outside of the Murrumbidgee, the upper Namoi is providing the most significant growth in the cotton industry. In the last four seasons, they have seen, in this valley, 75 new growers come to the industry .
Breeza Plains has always been strong for cotton. These days, the Liverpool Plains is growing exponentially every year. Thereâ€™s been a really strong uptake of cotton in that region.
Despite the increase in cotton growth, the upper Namoi has experienced a tough season.
Mr. Goddard said that late cool start, extreme heat, extreme night temperatures and lack of rain have been the big factors in reduced yields in both dryland and irrigation and they expect quality to be compromised. Yields will be well back on average for sure.
Despite the difficulties faced by growers this season, all growers would have an opportunity to market their cotton in excess of $500 a bale. The cotton commodity price is quite strong this year and itâ€™s been quite consistent, Mr. Brady said.
The season has been quite challenging in terms of extreme heat and a lengthy period of time without in-crop rainfall, and a lot of growers facing potential fibre quality problems when their cotton has been ginned, especially the dryland guys.
This season would contrast strongly with the last couple of seasons which had seen exceptional yield and exceptional fibre quality but there were some pluses.
The new varieties have held up quite well considering the season theyâ€™ve had to deal with, so a positive to come out of a really challenging season. .
Mr Goddard said that cotton picking was well underway thanks to a run of good weather but defoliation was a prime factor in the timeline.
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