THERE’S plenty to celebrate for Aaron Kiely, Deneliza Downs, Emerald, this month after he took over as president of the Central Highlands Cotton Growers and Irrigators Association, and is looking at a great cotton crop.
With 520 hectares of irrigation country, the Kiely family planted 220 hectares of early cotton in August which is a mixture of 746B3F, 748B3F, and 714B3F varieties.
So far they have only done one irrigation, after receiving 140mm in September and October, and have had very little insect pressure – a welcome change after the region saw heavy mirid pressure in last year’s early plant.
Also planted in August at Deneliza Downs was 60ha of feed corn, which will go into Central Queensland feedlots.
The August 28-planted cotton has just begun flowering, and after planting 13 seeds to the metre, Mr Kiely said he was happy to see an average of 11.5 seeds/m.
“It was a really good start to the season” he said.
“Great temperatures and good soil preparation,” he said.
“We will plant another 200 hectares in the last week of November or start of December on the back of chickpea country.”
The Kiely’s harvested half of their chickpeas before the rain and Mr Kiely said he was happy with the yield and quality, despite the rain setback.
He said last year’s cotton crop, which was 90pc harvested before Cyclone Debbie passed through Emerald, was also a success considering the challenges.
“Quality was excellent, and yield after the rain was probably where we expected, but we were happy with it,” he said.
Mr Kiely has recently taken over the role as president with the CHCGIA, after three years of vice presidency.
He said it was an exciting opportunity which he was pleased to take on.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge and continuing to work with the team to engage with members and the wider industry.”
Past president Emma McCullagh has taken on the role of vice president. Remaining on the board are secretary Samantha Elsden, treasurer Danni Ingram, and past president Ross Burnett.