A new educational website dedicated to dryland cotton aims to dispel misconceptions about growing the crop and offers growers advice on how to improve their productivity.
The information hub, found at www.drylandcotton.com.au, covers the full gamut of dryland cotton production and includes an eight-part video series documenting the steps to achieve success.
Research conducted in 2009 by Monsanto and following the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons into reasons sorghum growers were not planting dryland cotton, uncovered growers were unfamiliar with the mechanics of growing dryland cotton, considered the crop high risk and sorghum easier to grow and were concerned by what they considered to be a lack of harvest facilities or equipment.
The dedicated website seeks to improve understanding of dryland cotton and dispel uncertainty and misinformation surrounding the crop.
“Through research we found that growers, particularly sorghum growers, were hesitant to grow dryland cotton because of perceived higher upfront costs and greater risk should the crop fail,” Daniel Kruithoff, Monsanto Australia and New Zealand managing director, said.
“In reality when they investigate further, growers are finding dryland cotton actually makes good business sense with immediate and longer-term benefits and less risk than first thought.
“It is well documented growers with cotton in their rotation are achieving higher returns over the cropping cycle, compared with growers who use solely grain-based rotations.
“Improvements in variety performance and technology traits have simplified the process of growing dryland cotton and make this crop a more reliable and consistent performer within the rotational mix.
“Advances in biotechnology have resulted in the need to use fewer insecticide sprays to manage pests, meaning reduced labour, lower costs and a more manageable cash flow.
“Together with this, a new suite of high yielding and high quality varieties are highly adapted for dryland production, giving growers the opportunity to maximise returns while minimising risk.”
The website offers a rotational plan, outlines flexibility within the Cotton Choices™ program, includes a gross profit calculator, information on post crop management, herbicide resistance and tools for selecting a variety and seed treatment.
The website has been created by Monsanto and Cotton Seed Distributors (CSD) and aims to recognise dryland cotton growers as an individual group as well as provide an extensive pool of information.
The current cropping season, which is now drawing to a close, has been extremely favourable to dryland cotton growers who are experiencing record yields, particularly in northern New South Wales.
“Recent weather conditions, including improved moisture availability, have been ideal and offered growers the opportunity to see for themselves exactly what is possible with dryland cotton.”
To celebrate the launch of the website, five iPads are being given away. For a chance to win, visit www.drylandcotton.com.au and answer in 25 words or less why you are interested in growing dryland cotton.
Media inquiries please contact:
Sheena Coffey, Porter Novelli, 03 9289 9555 or on firstname.lastname@example.org
About Monsanto Company:
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land.