ROSS Burnett, Barkool, Wintonvale, and Barwin, Emerald, kicked off the cotton season early, with 270 hectares planted on August 1.
But after a rain event came through later that week, Mr Burnett had to replant.
“We had some country ready early and at the start of August the temperature outlook was favourable, so we went ahead to try get some crop in early and planted on the first of August,” he said.
“Majority of this came up good, but some was impacted by a rain event that came through at the end of the first week of August and was followed by some cold overnight temperatures.
“This interrupted some emergence and with a bit of disease getting in, the plant stand was looking a bit light so we made the call to replant some.
“Crops have been progressing along nicely, and with a bit more heat in the last week we are seeing the plant growth increasing, and we’re also seeing very little insect pressure at this stage.”
Mr Burnett has 630 hectares of irrigation country, and also manages 310ha of cotton at the Emerald Agriculture College.
This year he has planted a mix of varieties, with Sicot 746B3F and Sicot 748B3F.
Last season was Mr Burnett’s best yet for quality – which earned him a placing at the Central Highlands Cotton Growers and Irrigators Awards dinner earlier this year.
“Last year for us ended up not too bad, we had some early cotton that had solid yields, and also some cotton planted in November and December,” he said.
“In the later cotton the yield was back a bit, but with a chickpea crop in between the drop in yield was made up for.
“This was our best season ever for quality, with no discounts and even some premiums.
“Colour, length, micronaire, and strength of fibre were spot on, like most of the cotton from Central Queensland.”
Mr Burnett said his involvement with the Emerald Agricultural College was something he valued – and said it was great to see those crops also success at the awards dinner.
“We have had a long association with the College, as we have had over many years the opportunity to take students for practical experience,” he said.
“From this we have seen the quality and dedication of these students to agriculture, and have employed past students in our business.
“We got involved as the college had advertised looking for someone to provide a cropping management service, we felt it was a good opportunity for us to assist the college and provide the students with a direct connection to industry and experience best management cropping practices.
“We have had great student engagement and involvement in growing these crops, with students taking ownership in the production and wanting to be involved on the farm even after class and on weekends.
“It’s been a pleasure to be involved with the college and seeing the students grow as individuals to become future industry leaders.”
He said the awards were the icing on the cake.
“It was pleasing to get an award for quality at home, and a great result at the Emerald Agricultural College to get an award for the yield and quality,” he said.
“It’s a real credit to the college and the students involved to achieve these results and shows how unique the colleges are in providing real practical training that is at industry level.”
Mr Burnett is on the CHCGIA executive, the Local Management Arrangements board, is the CHCGIA Cotton Australia representative, and is the Chair of the Cotton Australia Industry Research advisory panel.