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Winter sowing for more reliable boll filling in Central Queensland

Grundy, P., Yeates, S., Iker, J., Spargo, G., Roughly, N. and Strangherlin, C. (2015) Winter sowing for more reliable boll filling in Central Queensland. In: 2nd Australian Cotton Research Conference, Toowoomba.

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The Central Highlands region has a unique climate that presents both challenges and novel farming systems opportunities for cotton production. We have been re-examining the Emerald climate in a bid to identify opportunities that might enable the production of more consistent cotton yields and quality in what can be a highly variable climate. A detailed climatic analysis identified that spring and early summer is the most optimal period for boll growth and maturation. However, to unlock this potential requires unseasonal winter sowing that is 4 to 6 weeks earlier than the traditional mid-September sowing. Our experiments have sought answers to two questions: i) how much earlier can cotton be sown for reliable crop establishment and high yield; ii) can degradable plastic film mulches minimise the impact of potentially cold temperatures on crop establishment and early vigour. Initial data suggests August sowing offers the potential to grow a high yield at a time of year with reduced risk of cloud and high night temperatures during boll growth. For the past two seasons late winter sowing (with and without film) has resulted in a compact plant with high retention that physiologically matures by the beginning of January. Even with the spectre of replanting cotton in some seasons due to frost in August, early sowing would appear to offer the opportunity for more efficient crop input usage, simplified agronomic management and new crop rotation options during late summer and autumn. This talk will present an overview of results to date.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant culture > Field crops > Textile and fibre plants
Live Archive:21 Jul 2016 00:38
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:44

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