TACKLING the challenges that come with growing cotton has earned Corey Hart the title of Darling Downs Cotton Growers Rabobank young producer of the year.
The award was announced at the 2019 Darling Downs Cotton Grower of the Year field day in Warra.
Mr Hart works on the family property northwest of Brigalow, where they grow both dryland and irrigated cotton.
The 27-year-old is a third generation farmer, who returned to the farm after completing his builder apprenticeship.
He has been around cotton his whole life and has been helping on the farm since he was a young child.
"We do rotational cropping depending on the rainfall and the season and the price of the product at the time and it includes cotton, sorghum, barley, wheat, chickpeas and mung beans," Mr Hart said.
"We prefer to grow irrigated cotton as it is the highest dollar return per megalitre.
"Last year we were lucky enough to get some overland flow to fill our ring tanks to get us through this season.
"In our last in-crop watering we were a few hours short of water which didn't allow us to fully fill the profile as we wished in one of the paddocks, but we will get the crop over the line."
He said the family's dryland picking was under way, and the first defoliation of the irrigated cotton would be in the coming weeks.
The challenges involved with growing cotton were just one aspect that attracted Mr Hart to the industry.
"I'm looking forward to the growth and the new technology and new varieties coming through the system.
"There seems to be a lot more technology coming through cotton than other industries and more readily available."
The award judging panel commended Mr Hart on his passion and commitment to the cotton industry. They were impressed that Mr Hart wanted to see more of the younger generation involved in the industry. He not only identified this, but provided a practical way to encourage young people by having farming gatherings during and after the cotton season.
They said he had demonstrated an ability 'to think outside the box', not to give an easy answer, and to be open to new experiences.