DIRRANBANDI cotton growers are taking advantage of specific weather data this season after the installation of a weather station in the area.
Where previously growers and locals sourced weather information from St George or Walgett, a new station is now located at the Dirranbandi airstrip thanks to CRDC Grassroots Grants.
The weather figures are available online and have been put to good use after sweltering summer temperatures this season.
Dirranbandi Cotton Growers Association chair Simon Graham said the weather station was a useful tool particularly for growers looking to spray.
“It records all its data in history so it’s a tool to use within the business,” he said.
“They (weather figures) are pretty critical to a lot of farmers.
“You are using the weather a lot for your spraying decisions and the conditions at which you should or shouldn’t be applying something. That’s where it is really handy.”
Picking is due to start in the Dirranbandi area in the next month with a third of the area expected to be “one or a couple of waters short”.
“We have got across the valley a range of scenarios depending on how much area people planted relative to water,” he said.
“Back in early October when everyone was making decisions it was quite wet and we thought summer was going to follow on from that.”
Since the inception of the CRDC Grassroots Grants program in 2011, CRDC has invested more than $466,000 in 52 projects across cotton growing valleys.
CRDC General Manager of R&D Investment, Ian Taylor said the grants were designed to help promote local, grower-led research.
“Our Grassroots Grants program provides cotton growers with opportunities for local action and innovation to complement whole-of-industry RD&E, making beneficial on-the-ground gains,” he said.
“Our investments in local technology, like this weather station in Dirranbandi, provide information to growers to help them make important on-farm decisions.”