Gwydir Valley looks great

As the season draws to a close, the cotton in the Gwydir Valley looks great. Picking has begun in the early season cotton, whilst some later planted crops are still a little while off defoliation. Early yield indications at the moment are around the 14-15b/ha.

There have been high numbers of beneficials throughout the season, including red and blue beetles, lady beetles and spiders. It has been a relatively quiet season for pests but have been finding hotspots of mites and mealybugs. Mirid numbers have been up and down throughout the season, with numbers increasing drastically in short windows. Silver leaf white fly have increased later in the season with some crops requiring spraying. Something that is of concern is the increased rate of resistance to Diafenthiuron that has been detected in Mite populations late in the season.

Rainfall has been very patchy throughout the valley with crops receiving either great rain falls or little to no rain. The sporadic rainfall has led to variation in crop maturity in both, dryland, and irrigated cotton. The variation in crop maturity increased the use of growth regulators throughout the season using variable rates across fields to regulate the maturity and even the crop up for defoliation.

Accumulating heat units wasn’t an issue this season with above average temperatures experienced across most cotton growing regions. This led to some shorter irrigation intervals, but the cotton certainly enjoyed the hot humid conditions. Some growers are using different defoliation techniques for their first pass this season to help manage the increase in late season growth. Average yields are expected to be lower in some areas because of the variable seasonal conditions but there is some potential for high yields in areas that have received good rain fall and for those that were able to manage their irrigations accordingly.

Alliarna BRAZEL
Agronomist, McGregor Gourlay Moree

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