Top crop despite dry spell

Cotton picking underway at Jenderrie Farms


Cropping
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Cotton growing truly is a family affair at Jenderrie Farms.

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Young Felicity Elsden casting her eye over this year's cotton crop at Jenderrie Farms outside Emerald.

Young Felicity Elsden casting her eye over this year's cotton crop at Jenderrie Farms outside Emerald.

Cotton growing truly is a family affair at Jenderrie Farms.

It is picking time at the property just outside of Emerald and young Felicity Elsden is enthusiastic about inspecting the results.

Jenderrie is run by Felicity’s parents Derek and Samantha, and has been in the family since Derek’s parents Trevor and Ivy developed it almost 50 years ago.

“Jenderrie Farms is a family owned farm that has been operating since the 1970s when Derek's parents Ivy and Trevor first moved to Emerald and developed the property,” Samantha said.

The property covers 1200 hectares, with chickpeas and mung beans supplementing the main crop of cotton.

Last year 480 hectares of cotton was planted at Jenderrie, with mainly Sicot 746B3F and some Sicot 714B3F sown between mid to late August. 

Samantha said they now were in the middle of picking the crop and were so far happy with the harvest. 

“We started picking on the 14th of January – so only a few days now –  but we have been really happy with the results so far,” she said. 

“All going well with the weather and machinery we should be done picking in a couple of weeks. 

“Our cotton, as well as most of the cotton here in the region, has been of a very high quality.” 

A lack of in-crop rain meant the Elsdens had to be especially careful with the way they managed their irrigation allocation, Samantha said.

“We seemed to just miss any rain so far this season so have been very careful with our management of our irrigation allocation and our on-farm water storage, which ran out just before Christmas, making a short one or two waterings.”

Once picked, the Jenderrie Farms crop would be sent to the local Queensland Cotton Gin in Emerald. 

According to the Queensland government’s latest AgTrends report, the total area of cotton planted in the state is forecast to more than halve in 2018-19. 

This was due to falls in the amount of irrigated cotton planted as well as a larger dip in dryland cotton planting.

Looking to the future, Samantha said Jenderrie would be working closely with agronomists as well utilising wider industry support to make the most of their crop. 

“We won second place in the local yield competition last year, which we were really happy with, so we want to continue looking at ways to manage our practices for our whole farm.”

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