Jondaryan district farmer, Lachlan Nass is more than happy with how his dryland cotton crop is progressing, given the challenging start to the growing season.
Lachlan, in partnership with his parents, Neil and Sue, finished planting their cotton crop, late last week.
The family started planting in early October, and since then have completed 320 hectares.
The plant includes 105 hectares of dryland 714B3F Bollgard and 215 hectares of semi-irrigated Bollgard varieties of 746, and 748 B3F, and 75RRF.
Lachlan said they planted into favourable fallow soil moisture from September rain, helped by a good fallow period last summer.
Prior to planting, nitrogen was applied in late winter, and strategic tillage work done to clean up the resistant weeds.
“So far, our dryland crop is looking fantastic,” Lachlan said.
“But it really needs a good fall of rain to set it up.
“With the storm season now approaching, we are looking to bag a few decent storms – minus the hail.”
Lachlan said the semi-irrigated crop has a budget of 250-300mm allocated.
“We source our water from a sub-artesian bore and overland flow harvested into a ring tank,” he said.
“We have already given the irrigated cotton a 20mm watering, through an overhead centre pivot.
“We aim to spread the water out with targeted applications to maximise water use efficiency.”
The family has forward sold about one third of what they think they will yield.
We have forward sold one third of what we think we will produce at a price upwards of $500/bale.
“We have locked in a price upwards of $500/bale.
“We also locked in a favourable ginning contract, to receive a return on our seed.”
Last year the Nass family yielded 12 bales/ha for their irrigated crop and eight bales/ha for their dryland cotton.
And now the cotton is firmly in the ground, the Nass family are turning their attention to harvesting their wheat and chickpea crop.
According to Mary O’Brien from the Darling Downs Cotton Growers Association, about 85 percent of the cotton crop on the Downs is now planted.
“That represents 53,000 hectares of dryland cotton and 25,000 hectares of irrigated cotton planted,” Mary said.
“So far the price is sitting around $500/bale.”