Cotton growers Ed & Maria Willis, Bill & Sue Willis and Von Warner of Bullamon Plains Pastoral, Thallon in South Western Queensland have taken out the prestigious Grower of the Year Award for 2011.
Announced last night at the annual Australian Cotton Industry Awards dinner held in Narrabri, NSW the trio came south of the border to collect their award which is now in its eight year.
Sponsored by Monsanto, the Grower of the Year Award recognises the grower making the most effective and productive use of their resources with respect to all of the selection criteria.
The Bullamon Plains Pastoral Co is an irrigated and dryland farming and grazing enterprise on Bullamon Plains at Thallon. It includes 1,400 ha of irrigated cotton and 8,000 hectares of dryland grain.
A commitment to the community, the industry and to best management practice characterise the operations at Bullamon Plains, with comments from the judges including:
- Well integrated and coordinated irrigated and dryland cropping and grazing system demonstrating strong and effective teamwork.
- Very well designed and developed irrigation system based on river flood harvesting from the Moonie River.
- An effective mix of bankless irrigation bays on 1,000 ha and furrow irrigated fields on 720 ha which can be supplied by gravity feed throughout the system with the required high flows to ensure efficient application of water in the bankless channels.
- Sound crop management program with a 50:50 Bollgard II and conventional cotton mix and a strong focus on weed management.
- Consistent yields of around 11.0 bales/ha over many years with a highest yield of 12.8b/ha in 2011.
- Active participation and leadership in industry and community activities.
Presenting the award, Monsanto Country Lead, Peter O’Keeffe said the trio was well deserving.
“The most valuable part of Monsanto’s association with the Cotton Grower of the Year Award is getting to know amazing growers such as the team from Bullamon Plains. We look forward to spending time with the award winners – on their property – it really is akin to looking through a lens into the future of cotton growing in this country,” Mr O’Keeffe said.