CAVASO Farming Partnership at Darlington Point, NSW, represented by Tony, Joyce, Matt and Daisy Toscan has been named the Monsanto cotton grower of the year at the 2017 Australian Cotton Industry Awards.
The Riverina farming business on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River has achieved impressive results since introducing cotton to their rotation just seven years ago.
On the 4200 hectare enterprise the Toscan family grow 1100ha of cotton, along with other crops like Durum wheat, popcorn, maize and prunes. They use siphon and bankless irrigation on a cotton, wheat rotation, employing minimum till and controlled traffic approaches.
Irrigation channels are controlled remotely by an automated system and they are now achieving average yields of 12 bales per hectare. They are currently transitioning from a maize and cotton rotation, working to streamline and standardise the operation by reducing the number of crop varieties.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) helps encourage beneficial insects and protect bees, while weeds have been a huge focus in recent years resulting in a much cleaner property.
For the first time in the history of the awards, recipients for the awards’ five categories were announced in a ceremony held in Griffith, southern NSW. More than 380 cotton growers and industry representatives attended the event.
The awards recognise excellence and achievement in Australia’s cotton industry throughout the supply chain, from growers and ginners to product suppliers, consultants, agronomists and researchers.
Farming in a new cotton growing area means biosecurity has been given the highest priority, keeping contractors and traffic coming on farm to a minimum and installing well sign posted wash down facilities.
The partnership has attained MyBMP certification and have meticulous record keeping practices.
- Monsanto Grower of the Year: Cavaso Farming – Tony, Joyce, Matt and Daisy Toscan, Darlington Point.
- AgriRisk High Achiever of the Year: CSD Farming - Mark Cathcart, CSD Farms, Wee Waa.
- ADAMA Chris Lehmann Trust Young Achiever of the Year: Fiona Norrie, Moree.
- Cotton Seed Distributors Researcher of the Year: Dr Paul Grundy and Dr Stephen Yeates, QDAF, Toowoomba and CSIRO Ayr.
- IPF Service to Industry Award: Michael Bennett, Killowen, Narromine.
Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay said all entrants were of an extremely high standard.
“We had a substantial number of strong nominations for the awards program this year, and all are deserving in many ways,” Mr Kay said.
“I know the judges found it very difficult to select recipients from the finalists, all of whom have contributed greatly to our industry.
“The Australian Cotton Industry Awards are an important way of showcasing those who are achieving great things, and also a way of discovering new ambassadors for the industry.
“Unfortunately there can be only one recipient in each category, and our recipients this year are a great example of the commitment of everyone throughout the cotton supply chain. I congratulate them all.”
The awards dinner brought together growers and industry representatives from all corners of Australia’s cotton-growing valleys.
Sponsors included: Monsanto, AgriRisk, ADAMA, Cotton Seed Distributors and IPF.