Cotton season 2017/18 update...

With Belinda Chase

 

Well it has been another interesting cotton season for 2017/18!

We started off quite nicely but once again mother nature turned the tap off on us for the majority of January and some of February, which is a critical period for growth and development of the crop. This caused a significant amount of fruit shedding and yield loss, and when the rain did finally eventuate, unfortunately it was mostly too late.

A small number of late crops were planted in mid-December that are still a number of weeks from defoliation and that also made some use of the late rain. Aphid and whitefly numbers have started to increase quite significantly in the last fortnight so any crops that are hanging on might encounter some insect issues and possibly some extra insecticide sprays.

In the last two weeks large areas of cotton have been started on the defoliation process, with some growers likely to roll into their first paddocks with the picker just in time for the Easter bunny to arrive! On the whole it looks like average yields will be respectable – an increase on the horror season that was last year, but for the most part average to below our past averages both in the dryland and some of the irrigated.

On the plus side the cotton price has rallied and is still holding high for growers at present, which should hopefully mean once picking and ginning is done and dusted for the majority of growers there will be some smiles on a few faces.

Finally, don’t forget that any paddocks that have had at least one full pass defoliation on or before the 31st of March will be exempt from pupae busting. One of our staff will be in contact with you following the Easter break to discuss the defoliation deadline and also to lock in your cotton choice for this season, the deadline for this paperwork being April 16th.

Contact us on (07) 4660 0400 or email me at; belinda@dalbyruralsupplies.com.au for more information or help with your cotton crops.