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.
Two men charged over the armed robbery of a Shepparton service station have been remanded in custody until next week.
The 2014 Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival has been hailed a huge success by organisers and participants alike.
The fifth annual King Billy Retreat Open Garden Party will be held at Rushworth on Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Echuca College students Calum Pearson, Luke Judd, Kiriana Epararma, Harriet Nilon, Kyle Melhuish and Stephanie Chong are heading to China.
A former Rochester resident is helping women with their confidence and their horses.
Accusations of bullying, disrespect and dangerous conduct.
And the school's best all-rounder for this year.
Finley's Mark Whiley has been traded from the GWS Giants to Carlton - the club he has supported all his life.
District residents are being invited to enjoy Oktooberfest celebrations at Tooborac Hotel and Brewery.
Momentum builds for the greatest show in Cobram, with young and old expected to lap up family attractions in sunny conditions.
Water users have welcomed the governments' announcement of a $350 million package for new irrigation efficiency programs in NSW, but say water availability is in need of improvement.
Farmers and anyone interested in big boys’ toys will be fascinated to check out an unmanned helicopter in action at an Ardmona orchard.
Judge comments, If I were single, I'd marry this steak!
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.