Cotton is out-performing expectations and is well worth a try, says Berrigan farmer Noel Baxter.SOPHIE BURGE May 7, 2014 4:00am
Berrigan’s Noel Baxter will harvest his third cotton crop in three years this month.
Cotton looks to be a promising, and now permanent, option for farmers in the Southern Riverina as high prices and low water allocations make it a crop of choice for some.
Although the region is generally considered to be on the cusp of suitable cotton growing conditions, several local farmers, including Mr Baxter, have been successful with their decision to grow irrigated cotton crops.
Mr Baxter says his crops are ‘‘growing and yielding really well.’’
The Baxter family has already grown around 270 hectares of cotton, harvesting a yield of 10-12 bales per hectare.
Like other cotton growers in the region, Mr Baxter and his brother Glen see cotton as a viable alternative to rice, which is what the family grew before the millennium drought.
‘‘It’s certainly a viable option (to rice) from what we can see; people should start to think about it,’’ Mr Baxter said.
‘‘Cotton remains an advantage as it uses less water and has a better return per megalitre than rice and is probably better than most summer crops.’’
Cotton uses around eight to nine megalitres per hectare, he said.
Mr Baxter admits cotton is more work than rice and that irrigation presents its challenges as cotton is grown on raised beds and is more labour intensive than a rice layout.
‘‘Cotton is something that’s well worth a try; it’s certainly a crop that’s out-performing expectations.
‘‘The return is there if you’re prepared to put in the work.’’
Cotton is best suited to warmer conditions and is sown in early October and picked in May.
With Auscott Limited’s plans for a new cotton gin to be built at Hay, there is potential for more local farmers to experiment with the fibre crop.
Street Rider Night Bus signs have been placed in Shepparton’s central business district to encourage people to use the service that has been cruising along for more than five years.
Police are currently at the scene of a double fatal collision involving two cars in at the Cahill Road, Gilmore Street and Woods Road intersection in Yarrawonga.
Tatura Community House held its annual High Tea fundraiser at the facility on Tuesday, with a full-house present to enjoy a sumptuous morning tea, good conversation and relaxing time together.
The Echuca construction team behind Junction Moama has taken out one of the top honours at a regional building awards ceremony.
Rochester Historical and Pioneer Society hosted an afternoon tea to recognise long-standing members Barrie and Flora Griffin and John and Margaret Harley.
About 7600 residents served by Goulburn Valley Water are affected by a boil-water advisory.
Scone Equine Hospital relaunches local veterinary practice.
A beauty pamper day has raised a whopping $18k to assist local lady Terri Bevan with her ongoing medical costs associated with her brain tumour
A planning scheme amendment to allow the expansion and redevelopment of the IGA supermarket at Heathcote has been approved by the Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
Cross-border rivals Cobram and Barooga football netball clubs will contest the 38th Cobram Courier Shield this weekend.
An exciting three-hole playoff saw Virginia Lange take a narrow win in the Deniliquin Ladies Golf Championship last Thursday.
The G-MW Murray gravity irrigation system has received 35 per cent and the Goulburn system 42 per cent of allocation from July 1.
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