Investigating The Impact Of Rain-Fed Cotton On Grain Production In Northern Farming Systems

GRDC - Jon Baird (NSW DPI, Narrabri), Gerard Lonergan (NSW DPI, Narrabri) and Lindsay Bell (CSIRO, Toowoomba)

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

The authors of this paper note in the conclusion: “The opportunity to plant a double crop after cotton in optimum conditions is limited; therefore, if growers do plant, the crop will benefit from capacity to tolerate moisture stress. At Narrabri, chickpeas stood out as the ideal second crop in a double cropping sequence, as they were able to extract a greater amount of soil moisture in a low moisture environment and also resulted in the greatest gross margin. Wheat and the cover crop (barley) did have greater biomass accumulation and did result in greater residual stubble cover, which may have a beneficial impact on future grain crops. While cultivating did have benefits such as reducing the cotton ratoons and volunteer numbers, the cost of the implementation on soil moisture caused significant yield reduction. If growers are able to defoliate their cotton within the regulated date, the ideal treatment is to leave the field in a no till situation. It is noted that there are no registered or reliable options for control of ratoon cotton with herbicides”.   Please access the full paper via the link below if this research interests you.

The take home messages from this GRDC funded research are below. Please access the full paper via the link below for methodology, references, acknowledgements and discussion.

Take home messages from the paper include:

  • Long fallow with good ground cover is paramount for preparing to establish a summer crop.
  • November has the greatest probability of adequate planting conditions for summer crops in Northern grains regions.
  • Chickpeas provided the best crop choice for double cropping in 2017 post the dryland cotton crop at Narrabri, due to high crop gross margins and its greater ability to extract soil moisture compared to wheat.
  • Cultivating after dryland cotton crop did reduce cotton volunteers and ratoons by >100 plants/ha, but yield of the following chickpea crop was reduced by 42% in 2017.

 

 

2018 - Australia - GRDC - Jon Baird (NSW DPI, Narrabri), Gerard Lonergan (NSW DPI, Narrabri) and Lindsay Bell (CSIRO, Toowoomba)
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