Docstoc

A guide to dryland cotton

Document Sample
A guide to dryland cotton Powered By Docstoc
					     A guide to
dryland cotton
Contents
Why grow dryland cotton?                                                     4
1. Better gross margins - the analysis

2. A rotational plan to control weeds and disease

3. There’s more choice with Cotton Choices™


Biotechnology has transformed the cotton industry                            9


Cotton - the agronomic pros and cons                                        10


What is required to grow dryland cotton?                                    11


The 8 stages of successful dryland cotton growing                           12


Selecting a dryland cotton variety                                          16


Cotton marketing                                                            17


Plan for refuge crops                                                       19


Post crop management                                                        20
Weed control

Control of volunteer and ratoon Roundup Ready Flex and Bollgard II cotton

Pupae destruction


Herbicide resistance                                                        23


For more information                                                        23
     Why grow dryland cotton?
     It’s time to take another look at growing cotton. With
     the introduction of biotechnology, cotton production
     has changed dramatically and the benefits are
     hard to ignore.

     Dryland Cotton in particular has had some major
     advances of late, with improvements in managing
     insects and weeds, making it a viable summer
     cropping option. With Monsanto’s revolutionary traits
     you can now use less insecticide sprays to manage
     pests, which means reduced labour, less costs and
     a more manageable cash flow. What’s more, CSD in
     partnership with the CSIRO Cotton Breeding program
     have developed a new suite of high yielding and
     high quality varieties, such as Sicot 71BRF, which are
     highly adaptable for dryland production, giving you
     the opportunity to maximise returns whilst minimising
                                                              Planting row configuration effects on dryland
     risks. And with the introduction of Cotton Choices™
                                                              cotton gross margin
     you have more flexibility for your operation.
                                                              The vigorous tap root of the cotton plant allows for
                                                              wider exploration of the soil profile for moisture and
     1. Better gross margins – the analysis
                                                              nutrients, particularly when compared with fibrous
     Improvements in variety performance and                  root type crops. This characteristic has led to the use
     technology traits have simplified the process            of wide row configurations that increase the total
     of growing dryland cotton, making this crop a            amount of soil moisture available to the plants. This
     more reliable and consistent performer within            extends the time before in-crop rainfall is required
     the rotational mix. It is well documented that           and therefore makes the crop less reliant on in-crop
     growers with cotton in their rotation program are        rainfall particularly in the first 2-3 months of its life.
     achieving higher returns over the cropping cycle         Narrower row configurations such as single skip are
     when compared to growers with soley grain based          more popular in higher rainfall eastern areas while
     rotations. The relative profitability of any dryland     the wider row configurations such as super single are
     crop will fluctuate with commodity prices and yields.    used in the lower rainfall western areas.
     This is not different for dryland cotton, however the
                                                              The wide row spacings provide greater surety in yield
     use of different planting row configurations helps
                                                              and maintenance of base grade fibre quality. There
     manage yield potential, fibre quality and production
                                                              is a strong relationship between row configuration
     costs - all of which influence your gross margin.
                                                              and fibre quality, especially for fibre length. In row
                                                              configuration trials, fibre quality improved with wider
                                                              row configurations. Therefore the row configuration
                                                              chosen in combination with the seasonal conditions
                                                              experienced will have an influence on the likelihood
                                                              of quality discounts being incurred on delivery of the
                                                              cotton.

                                                              Savings in variable costs of inputs such as planting
                                                              seed, insecticides, defoliants and the picking
                                                              operation are likely with wider row configurations.
                                                              Taking this into account, a lower yielding wider row
                                                              configuration crop can at times give a better gross
                                                              margin than a higher yielding crop on a closer
                                                              configuration. In many ways growing dryland cotton
                                                              really emphasises that gross margin is not just a
                                                              function of the yield produced, but very much a
                                                              combination of yield and costs associated with the
                                                              row configuration chosen.


04
                 Dryland cotton gross margin (GM per ha) sensitivity analysis


                  Single Skip              Bale and post ginning seed price combined

                  Yield (b/ha)            $400                $450              $500

                  2.75                    $265                $402              $540

                  3.25                    $433                $596              $758

                  3.75                    $602                $789              $977

                  Double Skip              Bale and post ginning seed price combined

                  Yield (B/Ha)            $400                $450              $500

                  2.5                     $259                $384              $509

                  3.0                     $427                $577              $727

                  3.5                     $595                $771              $946

                  Super Single             Bale and post ginning seed price combined

                  Yield (B/Ha)            $400                $450              $500

                  2.0                     $173                $273              $373

                  2.5                     $341                $467              $592

                  3.0                     $510                $660              $810




How does the planting row configuration affect
variable costs?

Dryland cotton has a couple of big ticket items
which make up the majority of the growing costs,
these being picking and technology licence fees.

In wide row configurations, efficiencies in picking
can be made through not trafficking every pass,
with some contractors charging on a green hectare
basis.

The technology licence fee (see section in booklet)
can either be based on a green hectare rate or on
an end point royalty scheme where the licence fee
paid is related to the yield achieved. This not only
works as a risk management tool but also in wider
planting row configurations where the green hectare
rate and yield potential is lower, it is also a cost
management tool because the grower pays less.


                                                                                       05
     Approximate variable cost breakdown


                                                       Single Skip   Double Skip          Super Single

      Consultant                                              $35        $35                  $35

      Planting                                                $70        $60                  $50

                                       Fallow                 $96        $96                  $96

      Weed Management                 In-Crop                 $45        $45                  $45

                                        Total              $141          $141                $141

      Insect Control                                          $59        $50                  $41

      Defoliation                                             $43        $37                  $30

      Harvest & Cartage                                    $268          $210                $185

      Post Crop Management                                    $80        $80                  $80

      Technology Licence                                   $261          $198                $130

      Total                                                $957          $811                $692



     Cash flow

     Dryland cotton is often referred to as being a capital          Cost accumulation of single skip dryland
     intensive crop to grow, requiring high capital and              cotton and solid plant sorghum
     inputs to establish and grow the crop. While it is
     true that dryland cotton is more expensive to grow                         Sorghum

     than other summer crop alternatives, a break                               Cotton
     down of the cash flow associated with growing
     this crop shows that it has a similar variable cost
     accumulation to a comparable crop such as
     sorghum throughout the entire season, up until
     harvest.

     Picking and post-crop management operations
     comprise approximately 40 to 50 percent of the
     total variable costs with dryland cotton. Many of
     these costs can be grouped as bale or yield related
     costs, such as cartage and licence fees, where yield
     determines the final cost incurred. Payment of some
     of these is not required until following payments are
     received from the merchants after ginning.

     Cotton seed: the forgotten commodity

     As well as the cotton lint produced, cotton seed is
     also a tradable commodity. There is a ready market
     for cotton seed meal or whole seed for livestock
     feed and for the cotton seed oil for cooking. Price
     fluctuations are dependant on the Australian supply
     and demand, it varies on the size of the Australian
     cotton crop. In recent years, growers have been
     able to offset the cost of ginning as well as add
     some extra to the bale price due to the strong
     demand for cotton seed.



06
           2. A rotational plan to control weeds and disease
           Rotating away from a cereal based program with a broadleaf crop such as cotton allows the insertion of
           a disease and weed break into the crop rotation plan. The added ability to apply glyphosate over the top
           of cotton throughout the season allows for fields with a high weed burden to be easily managed.

           Cotton’s fit into the rotation

           There are countless ways of incorporating cotton into a dryland rotation. The below table shows some
           examples of rotations that are currently being used by growers. The key to these rotations is FLEXIBILITY –
           being able to adjust depending on moisture availability, disease risks and the likely returns for each crop.



                          Cotton                   Cereal                                 Cereal                                                 Cotton      Cereal


                          Cotton                   Cereal                                               Cotton


Sorghum      Cereal                             Chickpea                                  Cereal                                 Cereal


Cotton                                             Cereal                               Chickpea                                 Cereal                               Cotton




Millet*                Millet*                                   Cotton                              Millet*                                 Millet*


Sorghum      Cereal                                Cereal                                 Cereal                                                 Cotton      Cereal


          YEAR 1                              YEAR 2                                 YEAR 3                                 YEAR 4                        YEAR 5

               * Millet is a sacrificial crop grown for only 6 weeks and then sprayed out to provide ground cover which helps harvest rainfall



                                                                                                                                                                               07
               3. There’s more choice with Cotton Choices™
               Monsanto has introduced Cotton Choices™ giving you greater flexibility and choice in managing cash
               flow and production risks. By planting Bollgard II stacked with Roundup Ready Flex growers are eligible
               to participate in the Cotton Choices™ program, where you select the best choice to suit your unique
               farming operation.

               Cotton Choices™ offers eligible growers the choice of a price discount on crop technology fees;
               selecting the added value of Late Crop Removal (LCR); or paying a set End Point Royalty (EPR) fee per
               bale, a system where you pay for your technology fee after you have ginned your cotton.

               Pay your technology fee after you gin

               The End Point Royalty choice has been specifically developed with potential dryland cotton growers in
               mind. The majority of your insect control costs are pushed to the end of the season and you only pay for
               what you pick – this makes it much easier to manage cash flow.


                                 Cotton Choices™3 – End Point Royalty (EPR)

                                 Product                                                                   Price(excl GST)

                                 Bollgard II stacked with Roundup Ready Flex                               $ 50 per bale of ginned lint

                                 Roundup Ready Flex (unsprayed refuge)                                     $ 50 per bale of ginned lint

                               Note: The EPR fee will be capped based on your Bollgard II stacked with Roundup
                               Ready Flex harvested area. The cap is set at the equivalent of $405/ha (green).



      Example 1                                                                                  Example 2

      Grower plants 50 ha of Bollgard II stacked with Roundup                                    Grower plants 250 ha of cotton in a single skip
      Ready Flex in a double skip configuration (50%) and                                        configuration (66.67%) and yields 2.2ba/ha or 550 bales
      yields 5ba/ha or 250 bales in total.                                                       in total.

      EPR FEE PAYABLE                          250 Bales x $50 = $12,500                         EPR FEE PAYABLE                             550 Bales x $50 = $27,500

      AREA BASED CAP                     50ha x 50% x $405 = $10,125                             AREA BASED CAP               250ha x 66.67% x $405 = $67,503

      GROWER PAYS                                                            $10,125             GROWER PAYS                                                             $27,500

     Note: All examples are indicative only and growers should refer to the full terms and conditions before making a purchasing decision.



               EPR essentials

               • There are no upfront fees applicable to the EPR under the 2010/11 program
               • EPR will only apply to Bollgard II stacked with Roundup Ready Flex and any associated unsprayed
               Roundup Ready Flex refuge equal to 10% of the Bollgard II area.
               • The only cotton that can be planted on farms selecting the EPR option is Bollgard II stacked with
               Roundup Ready Flex and associated unsprayed Roundup Ready Flex equal to 10% of the Bollgard II
               area.
               • All cotton on a farm unit must be placed under the EPR program – this includes both dryland and
               irrigated cotton.
               • Farms cannot be split into separate farm units. If growers have questions they should contact their
               Monsanto Regional Business Manager to discuss.


               Please refer to the 2010/11 Bollgard II with Roundup Ready Flex Technology User Agreement Terms and Conditions before you plant for full details on the
               Cotton Choices program and on growing Monsanto’s cotton traits in the 2010/11 season.
08
Biotechnology has transformed the cotton industry
Cotton production has changed dramatically since the introduction of biotechnology. Advances in
managing insects and weeds have made dryland cotton much more attractive, with significantly
fewer insecticide sprays and labor required to manage pests. Budgets can now be determined and
this makes cash flow management much easier.

Simplified insect and weed control

Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex technologies provide Australian growers with simple tools
to effectively protect cotton yields. The Bollgard II trait is an important tool in the sustainable
management of Helicoverpa spp., one of the cotton industry’s most significant insect pests. Roundup
Ready Flex cotton is able to tolerate applications of Roundup Ready Herbicide with PLANTSHIELD in
its vegetative and reproductive stages. Therefore growers can apply Roundup Ready herbicide with
PLANTSHIELD in crop to weeds when and where they appear with full season tolerance.

Cost effective

Bollgard II reduces variability in planning and budgeting. Growers can expect significant savings in
time and money from reduced insecticide applications, savings in labour, equipment costs and
storage costs – due to reduced reliance on shielded spray equipment, cultivation and chipping
compared to conventional cotton systems.

Environmentally sustainable approach to growing cotton

Biotechnology has reduced the environmental impact of cotton production enabling
an overall decrease in the amount of pesticides used.

• Since the introduction of INGARD cotton in 1996, and the progression to Bollgard II,
cotton growers have been able to reduce pesticide usage by 90%.
(http://www.cottonaustralia.com.au/environment/biotechnology/)

• Roundup tolerant products have also helped growers reduce reliance on more
persistent herbicides, which have been attributed to the contamination of our
precious waterways.

Increased biodiversity

With Bollgard II, cotton growers can successfully implement Integrated Pest
Management (IPM), improving crop biodiversity.

                                                                                                       09
	        	




             Cotton – the agronomic pros and cons
             Many growers include cotton in their dryland rotation system each year. Like any crop they use in their
             system, it has its pluses and minuses. The following lists some benefits of both cotton and sorghum to a
             rotation as told to us by growers who use both crops.


             Cotton pros
             • Better gross margin in average and above-average yield situations
             • Tap rooted crop:
                - Vigorous forager/recycler of Nitrogen from depth. Often don’t need to apply additional fertiliser
                - Can hold on for long periods in skip row situations
                - Can open up country, removing compacted areas
             • Longer maturity means larger window to capture and use in-crop rainfall
             • Wide planting window – mid September to mid November
             • Few lodging or standability problems
             • Handles extended dry periods post planting better than sorghum
             • Roundup Ready Flex option simplifies weed management and provides an opportunity to get on top of
             grass weeds
             • Provide a break from cereal diseases such as crown rot
             • Pupae busting at the end of cotton provides an opportunity to level country and incorporate feedlot
             manure or granular fertilisers as part of a no-till rotation
             • Fewer final product handling issues than grains
             • Relatively tolerant to weather damage around harvest
             • A range of marketing opportunities

             Cotton cons
             • High input costs BUT many of these are not incurred until late in the season
             • Tap rooted crop may leave the soil profile very dry at the end of the season
             • Minimal useful stubble at the end of the season
             • Re-growth plants can be difficult to manage if root cutting or mulching has not been done correctly
             • Roundup Ready Flex volunteers will require products other than glyphosate to control them in subsequent
             fallow or crop
             • Difficult to control some broadleaf weeds in crop – particularly fleabane and vines
             • Susceptible to drift from broadleaf herbicides




    10
           What is required to grow dryland cotton?
           Equipment

           P Precision Disc Opener planter
           P Spray boom
           P Chisel plough or similar for pupae busting
           Contractors

           P Experienced agronomist
           P Cotton harvester




Simple steps for accessing Bollgard II and Roundup Ready
Flex cotton technology
Attend an accreditation course

• This training is part of Monsanto’s Bollgard II stewardship program.
• Stewardship is about ensuring the sustainability of Monsanto technologies and helping our
customers get long-term value from our products.
• You must be accredited to use Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex technologies.
• For details regarding accreditations please contact your local Monsanto representative by
calling 1800 069 569

Contact your local Technology Service Provider (TSP)

• Growers can access Monsanto’s cotton technology through TSPs
• TSPs will provide technical support, technology user agreements, Roundup Ready herbicide with
PLANTSHIELD and cotton planting seed.
• Contact your local TSP to help step you through this process.
• To find a list of accredited TSPs in your region please visit www.monsanto.com.au/cottontsps

Understand the stewardship requirements

• Resistance is the greatest danger to the continued availability and efficacy of agricultural
technologies. This is why the Australian cotton industry and Monsanto are committed to sustainable
agricultural practices and collectively have developed rigorous and robust stewardship practices
and management plans to ensure the longevity of Bollgard II and Roundup Ready cotton
technologies.
• The requirements set out in the Management Plans are put in place to reduce the opportunities
for resistance to develop. These requirements are continually monitored for compliance by
regulators and expert scientific committees. They are also developed, improved and endorsed
through consultation with the cotton industry.
• Ensure you read through the general terms and conditions of the technology user agreement to
fully understand your obligations.




                                                                                                     11
	        	




             The 8 stages of successful dryland cotton growing
             This is a basic checklist of production considerations that require some thought as you determine your
             dryland cotton planting intentions

             1. Pre planting
             Like most aspects of farming prior planning can assist in minimizing potential problems and aggravations
             during the growing of any crop. The following is a checklist which growers should consider before planting
             dryland cotton.

             a. Consultant

             Golden Rule - Engage an experienced cotton consultant to assist you in all aspects in the management
             of your crop; even the most experienced cotton growers use consultants.

             b. Field selection

             i. Plant available water capacity

             Golden Rule – Select suitable soil types – cotton will perform best in soils with a good plant available
             water holding capacity.

             Selecting soils which can hold in excess 180mm in the top 150cm of soil is a good rule of thumb. This is
             particularly important in regions with lower potential for in-crop rainfall. There is also the opportunity to
             match planting intentions with differing soil types and water holding capacities through variety selection
             and planting row configuration, thus increasing the amount of soil moisture available to the plant.

             ii. Ground cover

             Golden Rule - Utilize stubble cover – the benefits of stubble to the farming system are many including:
             improved infiltration rates, extended planting opportunities, protection for young seedlings, habitat for
             beneficial insects etc.

             c. Row configuration

             Dryland cotton growers can use planting row configuration to manage their growing costs and maintain
             yield and fibre quality.

             Decisions on what row configuration to use in different scenarios are based on:

             i. In-crop Rainfall
             ii. Seasonal Outlook
             iii. Soil type
             iv. Commercial experience in your region

    12
d. Contact your Technology Service Provider (TSP)

Ensure you are accredited and able to grow varieties containing Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex
technologies.

Further information can be found in the “Simple Steps for Accessing Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex
Cotton Technology” section of this booklet.

e. Marketing options

Make contact with cotton merchants to discuss what marketing options they have available to dryland
growers.

f. Contractors

If you are going to use contractors for some farming operations, start organizing them well before
planting.

i. Planting
ii. Spraying
iii. Picking

g. Weed control strategy

Golden Rule - Have a plan for weeds – Don’t rely solely on Roundup Ready Flex technology.

 Although the Roundup Ready Flex system offers good in crop weed control growers still need to practice
integrated weed management. Through this they should plan for the control of problem weeds or weeds
not on the Roundup Ready herbicide with PLANTSHIELD label such as fleabane. Furthermore, a plan for
the control of ratoon and volunteer cotton plants after the crop should also be developed.

h. Plan for refuge crops

An area of refuge crop to produce susceptible moths is a vital tool within the Resistance Management
Plan of the cotton industry. It is important to understand the reasoning behind the refuge crop and how
it may impact on the farming operations. For further information and options available to dryland cotton
growers please refer to the Refuge Crop section (page 19) within this booklet.




                                                                                                           13
	



         2. Planting
         a. Full moisture profile

         Golden Rule - Plant on a full profile – Cotton is not the most vigorous of seedlings and is quite susceptible
         to adverse conditions at emergence.

         Avoid planting if surface moisture is marginal, unless you are set up to move dry soil and plant deep into
         moisture. Adequate soil moisture reserves will allow the crop, once established, to grow for 2-3 months
         without rain.

         b. Variety selection

         Golden Rule – Use an appropriate variety, refer to the CSD Variety Guide for specific variety information.

         However, ideal characteristics of a dryland cotton variety are:

         i. Indeterminacy
         ii. Reliable Yield Potential
         iii. Inherently Good Fibre Quality Characteristics

         For further information see the ‘Selecting a dryland cotton variety’ section in this booklet.

         c. Even plant stand

         Golden Rule – Aim to establish an even, gap-free plant stand of 6-8 plants per linear metre.

         Planting rate may need to be adjusted to suit the planting conditions. An even plant stand is desirable to
         generate a uniform crop which is easy to manage for the whole season.



         3. Weed control
         By using skip row planting configurations there is a lot of area without a crop cover. The capability to
         spray Roundup Ready herbicide with PLANTSHIELD over the top of the Roundup Ready Flex cotton crop
         has simplified weed control. However, this should not leave the impression that weed control is easy.
         Herbicide applications should be targeted at the appropriate weed growth stage and size to ensure
         effective control.



         4. Squaring to cut out
         The cotton crop grows rapidly and daily water use increases dramatically. Good crop agronomy and
         available moisture during this phase will increase yield potential. Your consultant will be monitoring the
         crop for:

         i. Soil Moisture Status
         ii. Fruit Numbers and Retention
         iii. Crop Growth Rate
         iv. Nodes Above White Flower
         v. Insect Activity
         vi. Weeds




    14
5. Crop cut out to defoliation
Growth of the cotton crop is starting to slow and daily water use has decreased.
Boll numbers are set and the plant concentrates on boll fill. During this phase your
consultant will be monitoring the crop for:

i. Soil Moisture Status
ii. Maturity and Percentage of pen bolls
iii. Insect Activity


6. Defoliation
 This is a critical time and the culminating task in growing the crop. Effective
defoliation is reliant on available soil moisture, crop maturity, good product selection
including: rate, timing and spray coverage. Most crops require two passes to
achieve an adequate leaf drop and boll opening.


7. Picking and ginning
Due to the requirement of specialized equipment most dryland cotton is contract
harvested. Some issues you may need to consider:

a. Harvesting and cartage contractors need to be aware of crop time lines to
ensure the picking operation is done efficiently.

b. Once cotton is within a covered module it is weather proof and can be stored
for extended periods. Locate module pads in areas which are free from debris and
where surface water will not pond, and where there is ample semi trailer access.

c. Contamination Free – Australian cotton has a reputation for being very
clean and debris free. Ensure that rubbish and other foreign materials
are kept away from cotton modules.


8. Post crop management
Effective removal of plant residues post picking is critical. Re-
grown and volunteer cotton plants can be persistent weeds within
the cropping rotation. It is also a legal requirement to cultivate
Bollgard II cotton fields. refer to the “Post Crop Management”
section within this booklet for further information



                                                                                           15
	        	




             Selecting a dryland cotton variety
             Some cotton varieties are much more suited to dryland conditions than others so it is
             important that a lot of thought is put into variety selection. Typically those varieties well suited
             to dryland condition;

             • Are vigorous in growth so they can respond quickly when moisture is available
             • Have inherently good fibre quality - particularly staple length
             • Have a history of good performance in a region




             Siokra 24BRF                              Sicala 340BRF

             A vigorous, long season okra-             A premium fibre quality full
             leafed variety suited to the              season normal leaf variety suited
             central, northern and western             to central and northern regions.
             regions. Avoid in the southern            NEW for 2010.
             and far eastern regions,
             particularly if planting late. NEW
             for 2010.




             Sicot 71BRF                               Sicot 74BRF                               Sicot 80BRF

             A high yielding full season variety       A high yielding full season variety       A vigorous, long season variety
             suited to central and northern            who’s performance in dryland              suited to the central, northern
             regions. It has a more compact            is still under evaluation. NEW for        and western regions. Avoid in the
             growth habit and has performed            2010.                                     southern and far eastern regions,
             best in seasons with rainfall early                                                 particularly if planting late.
             in the season.




             Siokra V-18BRF                            Sicala 60BRF

             A quicker maturing okra-leafed            A quicker maturing variety suited
             variety suited to the eastern             to the eastern regions. Ideal for
             regions. Ideal for later planted          later planted situations.
             situations.


                       For further information on these varieties and others, please see the 2010 CSD variety guide
                       or visit www.csd.net.au
    16
Cotton marketing
Marketing of cotton in Australia is slightly different to that of other agricultural commodities as there is no
domestic consumptive industry. As a consequence the international price, or export parity, fluctuates
on a daily basis rather than being impacted by domestic factors. Domestic and international cotton
merchants based in Australia distribute prices daily. These merchants use a combination of Cotton
Futures, Basis and Foreign Exchange to calculate the ex gin prices offered to producers. Once purchased
merchants will hedge (offset) their risk through the futures and foreign exchange markets. Merchants
make prices up to three years in advance and have field representatives available to discuss individual
grower’s requirements.

Futures

Cotton futures are traded on the ICE (Intercontinental Exchange) in USc/lb. This exchange is utilized by
merchants, consumers, producers and speculators alike to offset their market risk. This market trades for 18
hours per weekday opening late morning AEST.

Basis

This is the physical component of the cash price. It is the difference between the value of the underlying
futures contract and the actual physical price at the gin.

Exchange rate

Cotton futures are traded in USc/lb. To convert this to Australian Dollars per bale the merchant is required
to sell US Dollars and buy Australian Dollars. This is an inter bank market and trades weekdays 24 hours per
day.

                             The Australian cotton industry offers some unique advantages over larger
                             Northern Hemisphere producers that will ensure it remains relevant despite
                             only representing around 2% of world production. Domestically we produce
                             consistently the best upland quality in the world and a contamination free
                             product. Geographically we are well located to service Asian markets and
                             product is available counter seasonal to the Northern Hemisphere. The
                             size of the domestic crop has little to no influence over the international
                             futures market due to our relatively small production although we remain a
                             significant player in the high grade export market.

                             Contracts

                             Merchants offer a suite of marketing options to producers. These vary in their
                             complexity and give rise to different levels of liability and price security.

                             Fixed Bale – A contract to deliver a fixed quantity of bales at an agreed price
                             within a nominated valley and/or gin yard. This is a deliverable contract and
                             Force Majeure does not apply.

                             Fixed Area - A contract to deliver 100% of production from a specified area
                             at an agreed price. Production risk is assumed by the buyer.

                             Balance of Crop – A contract to deliver the production from a specified area
                             less nominated bales. The withheld bales must be nominated at the point of
                             contracting. Production risk is assumed by the buyer.

                             Pools – A contract where the producer nominates an area to be committed
                             and the merchant manages the price risk over a specified period of time.
                             Merchants will offer an indicative price or range. The final return to the grower
                             will be determined by the merchant’s ability to manage the production and
                             price risk over the life of the pool.




                                                                                                                  17
	        	




             Cotton quality and classing

             Australian cotton is classed against the USDA standard. The majority of parameters are measured by a HVI
             (High Volume Instrument) but the colour and trash content are determined by a qualified classer (subjectively).
             Growers can agree to have the merchant (buyer) classify their cotton or pay for their product to be classed by
             a qualified independent classer. This is subject to negotiation with the buyer at the point of contracting.

             In Australia the base grade parameters for cotton are:



                                                                      Australian Base Grade

                                                           Colour      Australian Middling (31)

                                                             Trash     3 leaf

                                                           Length      1-1/8”, 36, 1.125 inches

                                                         Strength      28 grams/tex

                                                      Micronaire       3.5 – 4.9 (G5)




                  Premium and discount schedules

                  The price that is negotiated against a forward or pool contract is subject to alteration depending on
                  the actual quality of the individual bales delivered. The majority of merchants will provide a schedule
                  of premiums and discounts (P&D) that they will use to adjust the agreed base price. Australian cotton is
                  generally of high quality and as a consequence the Base Grade (31-3-36 G5) is towards the top end of
                  the quality spectrum. As a consequence the penalties (discounts) can be significant should one or more
                  of the fibre parameters not meet the minimum requirements. Discounts are levied in USc/lb and are
                  converted to Australian Dollars per bale either using the spot Australian Dollar at the time of contracting
                  or on the same day as the cotton is classed depending on the policy of the contracting merchant. It is
                  important that the grower understands the potential impact of quality penalties and it is recommended
                  that a P&D be agreed upon with the merchant at the point of contracting.




    18            Cotton Marketing section compiled with assistance from ICM Moree
Refuge crops
These are Helicoverpa spp. host crops planted to produce Bt susceptible moths in sufficient numbers to
ensure that there is a high probability of the susceptible moths mating with any Bt resistant moths from
Bollgard II crops. This has the aim of keeping resistant insects rare in the population. A dryland refuge crop
must be planed within the 2 weeks period prior to the first day of planting Bollgard ll cotton to ensure there
s enough moisture for the refuge to establish.

What is the purpose of a refuge?

The aim of a refuge is to generate significant numbers of Helicoverpa spp. moths which have not been
exposed to selection pressure from either of the Bt proteins. Moths produced in the refuge crops will
disperse to form part of the local mating population where they may mate with moths emerging from
any Bollgard II crops. This reduces the chance that resistant moths will meet and mate.

Different refuge options for dryland Bollgard II

For dryland Bollgard II crops the only dryland refuge options available are sprayed or unsprayed cotton.
The reason for this is that the other refuge option available in irrigated Bollgard II (irrigated unsprayed
pigeon pea) may need to be planted after the cotton. This limitation reflects the uncertainties of
establishing crops in dryland where planting opportunities from rainfall cannot be guaranteed.

Refuges for dryland Bollgard ll crops must be planted in the same row configuration as the Bollgard ll
crop

• Sprayed Cotton Refuge - an area of dryland or irrigated conventional cotton, equal to 100% of the
area of dryland Bollgard II planted on the farm.
• Unsprayed Cotton Refuge - an area of dryland or irrigated conventional cotton equal to 10% of the
dryland Bollgard II area planted on the farm.
• An area of irrigated pigeon pea, equal to 5% of the Bollgard II planted on the farm.




                                                                                                                 19
	        	




             Post crop management
             Growers of Bollgard ll and Roundup Ready Flex are required to practice preventative resistance
             management. Compliance with the Resistance Management Plan (RMP) for Bollgard ll and Crop
             Management Plan (CMP) for Roundup ready Flex is required under the terms and conditions of the User
             Agreement and under the conditions of registration (Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act 1994).

             All new growers must take the time to understand their responsibility to effectively carry out key
             management practices outlined in the Roundup Ready Flex Crop Management Plan and the Bollgard
             II Resistance Management Plan. This will ensure that growers continue to receive the benefits from the
             technology while minimising the likelihood of resistance development in weeds or insects.

             Weed control
             Fallow, in crop, and post crop weed control is very important for successful cotton production

             Growers adopting Roundup Ready crops are encouraged to review their weed management systems to
             ensure that this technology is being used as part of an overall Integrated Weed Management (IWM) plan.
             The following principles are important considerations in an IWM plan with a more complete description of
             tactics included in Figure 1, which was developed by Graham Charles (Industry & Innovation NSW) for use
             in cotton production systems.

             • Keep accurate paddock records
             • Scout fields before and after herbicide or weed control operations
             • Start with a clean field by practicing good fallow and whole farm management
             • Use the right herbicide product at the right time at the right rate
             • Use multiple herbicide modes of action in the weed control system
             • Control weeds when they are small
             • Control escapes: Prevention of weed seed set is vitally important to stop resistance developing
             • Ensure good farm hygiene. Clean equipment before moving from field to field
             • Use non-herbicide farming practices such as strategic cultivation and crop rotation
             • As a standard part of the weed management system
             • Use competitive crops and maintain robust planting rates




                                                                                               AUTHOR: GRAHAM CHARLES (I&I NSW)
                     Figure 1 Integrated Weed Management System



    20
Control of volunteer and re-growth Roundup Ready Flex and
Bollgard II cotton
Cotton volunteers can;

• Compete for water and nutrients
• Act as a host for pests and diseases
• Increase the risks associated with Bollgard II cotton resistance
• Reduce seed purity
• Interfere with disease management strategies

All reasonable efforts should be made to remove ratoon plants, as
soon as possible after they emerge from all fields, including fallow
areas. Slashing alone will not prevent significant regrowth but used in
combination with an effective root-cutting operation, will greatly reduce
the problem. Mechanical disturbance and/or herbicide application may
be required to further eliminate ratoon cotton, e.g. centre buster with
blades.

Control volunteers early, small cotton plants, around 4-6 leaves or less than 25cm
high, are easier to control than larger ones.

If chemical control is used the choice of herbicides is important and should include rotation of modes of
action, consideration of plant back periods for rotation crops, what other weeds are to be controlled and
the size of weeds to be controlled. It is important to remember that any Roundup Ready Flex volunteers
will not be controlled by glyphosate.Planning for volunteer control should be integrated into crop
management strategies

For effective in-crop cotton volunteer control planning, three main factors need to be considered:

1. Type of potential volunteers present
2. Type of crop to be established
3. Method to be used for crop establishment

There are at least 5 registered herbicide options for controlling small Roundup Ready technology cotton
volunteers

• Paraquat/Diquat – (Revolver®)
• Bromoxynil – (Bromicide 200®)
• Carfentrazone – (Hammer®)
• Flumioxazin – (Pledge 500WG®)
• Paraquat/ Amitrole- (Alliance®)

Other products may give supplementary control however they may not be registered. Please refer
to relevant product labels. Cultivation is a viable option.




                                                                                                            21
	        	




             Pupae destruction
             Why should growers destroy pupae?

             Once mature, Helicoverpa spp. larvae burrow into the soil and pupate as part of their developmental
             cycle prior to emerging as a moth. From early autumn, pupae can enter into a stage of diapause, which
             is a resting phase to survive over long periods and harsh conditions. In this state they are able to exist for
             several months and not emerge until spring when the soil temperatures and day lengths have increased.

             This makes the end of the growing season, once the crop has been harvested; the ideal opportunity to
             target any surviving Helicoverpa spp. Cultivation destroys the pupae’s escape tunnel before moths can
             emerge. The disturbance can also expose the emergence tunnel – leaving the pupae vulnerable to
             predators. Either way the pupae are killed ensuring that they will not pass on any resistant characteristics.

             Pupae destruction is the mechanical cultivation of soil aimed at destroying over wintering
             pupae. The destruction of pupae is an important tool used to help combat the development
             of resistance to the Bt proteins expressed in Bollgard II. Effective pupae destruction is a key part
             of the Bollgard II Resistance Management Plan (RMP) and is compulsory for all Bollgard II fields.
             It is particularly important to ensure the completion of effective pupae destruction before
             planting a winter crop.


             What are the requirements for managing Helicoverpa post-harvest?
             Post harvest crop destruction:

             As soon as practical after harvest, Bollgard II cotton crops must be destroyed by cultivation or herbicide
             so that they do not continue to act as hosts for Helicoverpa spp. Unsprayed refuges should be left
             uncultivated for two weeks after harvest to allow emergence of any pupating Helicoverpa spp.

             Pupae destruction:

             In Bollgard ll cotton fields:

             • Bollgard ll crops should be slashed and mulched and fields cultivated for pupae control within 4 weeks
             of harvesting. All pupae busting must be completed by July 31.
             • Research has shown that full soil disturbance of the whole soil surface to a depth of 10cm is required to
             achieve effective pupae destruction.

             In Refuge crops:

             • All unsprayed refuges should preferably be left uncultivated until the following October.


    22
Herbicide resistance
Glyphosate is a key herbicide used widely in Australia and around the world and is a valued component
of modern agricultural farming systems. Glyphosate resistance however poses a serious threat to the long
term viability of Australian farming systems. Farmers using Roundup Ready Flex cotton need to implement
integrated weed management strategies to ensure that glyphosate continues to be an effective weed
control strategy for the whole farming system.




For more information
To find out more information about dryland cotton contact your local CSD or Monsanto representative,
visit www.csd.net.au or www.monsanto.com.au



 Cotton Seed Distributors                                                    Monsanto Australia
 ‘Shenstone’                                                                 12/600 St Kilda Rd
 2952 Culgoora Road                                                          Melbourne VIC 3004
 Wee Waa, NSW 2388                                                           Phone 1800 069 569
 Phone (02) 6795 0000                                                        Fax (03) 9522 6122
 Fax (02) 6795 4966



Roundup Ready, Roundup Ready Flex and Bollgard II are registered trademarks of Monsanto Technologies LLC, used under licence by Monsanto Australia Ltd.
Cotton Choices™ is a trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC used under license by Monsanto Australia Ltd.
Sicot, Sicala, Siokra and Sipima cotton varieties are a result of a research program conducted by CSIRO. Supported by the Cotton Research & Development
Corporation up until 2006
Please refer to the 2010/11 Bollgard II with Roundup Ready Flex Technology User Agreement Terms and Conditions and the Roundup Ready Herbicide with
PLANTSHIELD label before you plant for full details on the Cotton Choices program and on growing Monsanto’s cotton traits in the 2010/11 season.




                                                                                                                                                          23