Survey Shows Australian Cotton Growers Continuing to Improve Practices
January 8, 2016
Australia’s 2014 Cotton Growing Practices survey gathers valuable information about cotton farming practices. This provides a greater understanding of the industry’s current practices and performance in relation to a number of key areas for the 2013-14 cotton crop, and allows trends to be monitored over time. The survey is yet another example of how Australia’s cotton industry is constantly reviewing its performance, and using data to improve cotton production practices.
This survey particularly focused on weeds, climate, carbon, riparian areas, irrigation and irrigation pumps. Information was also gathered about cotton yields and fibre quality for the season and grower perceptions of CottonInfo.
Here’s a snapshot of the results:
- In irrigated cotton, 79 percent of respondents used two or more non-glyphosate weed management tactics in a given field over 12 months.
- 92 percent of the irrigated cotton area was grown under standard furrow irrigation systems in 2013-14. Other systems included:
- bankless – 2.5 percent
- lateral move – 3 percent
- centre pivots – 1.7 percent
- drip irrigation – 0.7 percent.
- 23 percent of growers had made changes to irrigation systems in the past five years and 32 percent planned or seriously considered changes within two years. Improved water use efficiency, labour savings and ease of management were key drivers of decisions to change irrigation systems.
- 52 percent of irrigators monitored and recorded the operating hours, energy consumption and how much water each pump shifts. 89 percent monitored and recorded at least one of these.
- 68 percent of respondents had a creek or river on their property; and 91 percent took steps to manage their riparian zones