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Oct 13, 2014 3:18 AM CST
|Seems like our Aussie cousins have some decent ideas. Bless their hearts and good luck!
Cotton trials to bring planting window forward on Central Highlands enter second year
By Kathleen Calderwood
A trial to bring the cotton planting window forward in Emerald Queensland, is underway for a second year, on a much larger scale.
The trial, run by the state's Department of Agriculture and funded by the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, is assessing two variables; planting dates, and how the plants grow when a biodegradable plastic film is placed over the bed.
Emerald ag consultant Jamie Iker says the aim of the trial is to make the most of spring weather, and to get the crop off before monsoonal weather late in the season.
"Right now we're seeing that the early planting dates, planting date one, with film is starting to set it's first fruit and looking forward should be starting to set some flowers late October," he said.
"The other extreme, the standard, the 15th of September plant... its second leaf is just sort of coming out of the ground, which is more like basically the rest of the cotton growing valley at the moment."
Mr Iker says the August 3 plants with film are about three days ahead in growth and five centimetres taller than those planted at the same time without film.
He says they are yet to prove the film is a worthwhile tool to use in the field.
"The aim for it is to increase the soil temperature and get the crop up and going early," Mr Iker says.
"In these planting dates where it's earlier some of the battle is getting the soil temperatures right for germination.
"It comes down to cost and whether it can be laid out... if we can't show you get a cost benefit out of applying it there's no real advantage for it, it's certainly got to be over and above the cost of application and the hassle of setting the gear up to do that."
Oct 13, 2014 5:57 PM CST
Oct 13, 2014 10:26 PM CST
When I lived in central Arizona I was employed by the US Dept of Ag. as a boll weevil field inspector in the irrigated cotton fields on the reservations around Phoenix.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
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