Rain to reduce cotton yields


The majority of cotton crops across the Macquarie Valley in central western New South Wales have been water logged which is expected to significantly reduce yields.

Researchers from the CSIRO are visiting properties in Warren this week to reassure growers their crops can be salvaged if properly managed.

However Principal Research Scientist, Michael Bange, says they shouldn’t expect the crop to regrow and make up the yield.

"They’re no longer necessarily going to yield the same sort of yields as the crops that haven’t been subjected to water logging or water inundation," he said.

"They will range from extremely significant impacts from half the yield gone to some very minor impacts and is very much dependent on how much waterlogging the crops have experienced.

"But some of the things they can do is to monitor their nutrition to try to help those plants along, ensure the canopy management is occurring so ensuring they don’t grow too vegetated and looking after the fruit that’s going to be produced to grow the cotton."

Mr Bange says the rain fell at a critical time, just a few months after planting.

"Unfortunately the time when a lot of the waterlogging has actually impacted the crops is probably when the crops were most susceptible and we definitely see that," he said.

"The crops that we are visiting today are the ones that have definitely suffered waterlogging because of the timing of the water logging.

"From the research we’ve done over many years in fact the impact of water logging is much less as the crop is getting older."

(Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/01/12/3110936.htm)