From chickpea to cotton and back again

Last cotton picked for Graham


SEASON WRAP: Graham Volck, Garden Creek, Emerald, with DAF cotton extension officer Sharna Holman.

SEASON WRAP: Graham Volck, Garden Creek, Emerald, with DAF cotton extension officer Sharna Holman.

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Check out the results Graham Volck, Garden Creek, Emerald, got from his cotton this season.

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THE last of Graham Volck’s cotton has been picked – and now the Emerald grower is ready to focus on his chickpeas. 

Mr Volck, Garden Creek, Emerald, had 500 hectares of irrigated cotton in the ground this season, and saw yields of about nine to 10 bales to the hectare. 

He planted on the back of a successful chickpea crop between November 14 and December 15, taking full advantage of the extended window offered by Bollgard III. 

“We were able to pull a 1000 tonne chickpea crop off in the middle of two cotton crops,” he said. 

“The stuff we have ginned has gone about nine bales to the hectare, and this later stuff we’re expecting between nine and 10 bales to the hectare.”

Mr Volck's cotton this season.

Mr Volck's cotton this season.

He said while the yield was a bit lower than what he would normally grow, the quality has been excellent and overall with the chickpea crops he is still out in front. 

The stuff we have ginned has gone about 9 bales to the hectare, and this later stuff we’re expecting between 9 and 10 bales to the hectare. - Graham Volck.

This season saw only three sprays for Mr Volck, with two for mirid and one for aphid, and he was happy to avoid having to spray for heliothis. 

He said overall the season was fair. 

Checking out the cotton.

Checking out the cotton.

“It was a really hot season, and then we had some late March rain out of ex-tropical cyclone Debbie, so they were the two tricky things to deal with,” he said. 

“We irrigated between four and seven times, depending on the field.” 

Now, Mr Volck has planted 120 hectares of chickpea back into the cotton country which was harvested first. 

He said the remainder of his crop was picked a bit later because he decided to grow it to its full potential. 

​Mr Volck’s farm has also been used this season for Department of Agriculture trial work, with extension officer Sharna Holman running benchmarking trials. 

Graham Volck and Sharna Holman.

Graham Volck and Sharna Holman.

“This allows us to gain valuable data and information over time for growers related to the plants’ physiology and how it grows as well as capturing the impacts of seasonal variability,” Ms Holman said. 

“Different commercial cotton crops planted in Emerald during August and November/December have been benchmarked and monitored.”

Mr Volck said overall he was very pleased with the season, and was looking forward to another after the chickpea crop. 

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