The Central Highlands Cotton industry came together in Emerald last Friday night to celebrate the achievements of local growers from the last two years.
The event saw over 200 people from the local and broader cotton growing industry come together to celebrate the yield and quality achievements from the 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 seasons.
The annual awards evening was organised by the Central Highlands Cotton Growers and Irrigators Association (CHCGIA).
The award outcomes are based off of whole farm yield and quality averages.
Check out the overall winners from the evening.
Dryland Yields Winner
1st place - Rob and Danni Ingram at Avondale with 1.2 bales/ha
Irrigation Yield Winner
1st place - Ian Burnett at Wyuna with 16.58 bales/ha
2nd Place - Garden Creek Graham and Josie Volck at Five ways with 16.08 bales/ha
3rd place - SC Morawitz Farming Steve Morawitz at Stewart Park with 15.31 bales/ha
1st Place - Rural Funds Management at Mayneland
2nd Place - Colorada Nigel Burnett
3rd Place - IW Burnett Ian Burnett.
Irrigation Yield Winner
1st place - Neek and Robyn Morawitz at Argoon with 15.33 bales/ha
2nd place - NRG ag Neek and Robyn Morawitz at Currimundi with 12.66 bales/ha
3rd place - Arcturus Downs Sam Bradford at Arcturus Downs with 12.59 bales/ha
1st Place - Nigel and Beth Burnett at Colorada
2nd Place - Mosely Farming Darryl Mosley
3rd Place - Garden creek Graham Volck
Due to the dry weather, the rain grown cotton yield award was a casualty, with no entries for this period.
The Grower Service to Industry Award was presented to Trevor Elsden, while the Service to Industry Award was awarded to John Stoyles.
The highest cotton yield was determined from the number of gin bales and areas from the BAYER Technical user agreement to provide an overall farm average yield.
Taking out the highest yield award for the 2021-22 season was Ian Burnett at Wyuna, who recorded an outstanding average of 16.58 bales/ha.
The team at Wyuna also claimed third place in the quality category for this period.
Despite a challenging growing season, Mr Burnett said the team at Wyuna were extremely pleased with production of their cotton crop overall.
"I do want to thank all the help from my family and the team on the property," Mr Burnett said.
"You don't achieve a result like that without considerable help from everyone around.
"I knew our crop had done well, but I thought other growers in the region would have done better than us.
"Looking back at the season, we didn't have that much water to begin with, but the crop was solid right all the way through to pick."
The team at Wyuna planted 260 hectares of irrigated cotton back in August 2021 at the family's property, 45km outside of Emerald.
Mr Burnett said the 2021-22 season was fairly challenging, first starting off with zero water allocation.
"We planted that crop in the last week of August in 2021 and planted that whole area," he said.
"We had a good start with some rain and then just before Christmas it stopped and fortunately we had enough irrigation water on-farm to take us through a few dry months from late December to February with very little rain at all.
"During the late stage of the cotton production, the rain started and the crop didn't reach maturity and it just kept on growing, which went on to achieve another eight to 10 bolls on top."
Mr Burnett said he was surprised to receive third place in the quality award, considering they had a tough time picking the crop this year.
"We ran into a fairly wet period for cotton picking and generally with a high production like that, we experienced a fairly difficult pick," he said.
Wyuna recently recorded between 170 and 200 millimeters of rain since the last week.
After capturing water into their on-farm water storages following the recent rain, Mr Burnett said the family were looking at putting in a full area plant of cotton for the upcoming season.
"I suppose things have changed in the last week but we were originally looking at a reduced planting area," he said.
"We will now step up as the water allocations are announced and also the water that has been captured on farm storage has changed our situation.
"When the conditions are dry enough to get the planters on the paddocks."
Pending weather conditions, Mr Burnett plans to plant 440ha of cotton in the coming weeks.
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