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.
Victorian RSL President David McLachlan has his copy of Our Anzacs and he’s urged the community to buy a copy to support Legacy.
Yarrawonga’s Bre Elliott played the most “consistent golf of her life” over three days to win the Fuccillo Kia Championship at Capital Hills by carding a 2-under 69 on the final day.
Heather Donaldson was re-elected president of Tatura Hospital Ladies Auxiliary at the annual general meeting on Thursday, which was attended by 33 people.
A SERIES of classes helping people find information on their ancestors will be held across Campaspe Shire this month.
FOOTBALL star Jake Edwards presented Rochester Secondary College Year 7 and 8 students with life-long lessons he has experienced first-hand.
Community workshop to consider issues to help form Campaspe digital strategy
Heather Stamp brings a long experience of the Salvation Army to Seymour.
Berrigan Shire Council have approved a development application for six more independent living units to add to Berrigan’s Amaroo Self Care Unit block.
THEY may be a familiar sight across the Heathcote district, but some of the much-loved birds in the region are in decline.
Cobram District Health will farewell two of its dedicated board members with the resignations of president Jennie Gould and treasurer Rod McLeod.
Deniliquin and district boasted two major winners at the Australian Sheep and Wool Expo at Bendigo from July 17 to 19.
Farmers from northern Victoria and the southern Riverina gathered at Yarrawonga and Dookie last week to hear how a stubble management trial was progressing.
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