MORE than 300 visitors had the opportunity to inspect the achievements of the 2017 Monsanto Cotton Grower of the Year at a field day last week on the Toscan family’s Cavaso Farming operation in southern New South Wales.
Cavaso Farming is an irrigated cropping enterprise on 4200 hectares across eight properties at Darlington Point and Coleambally.
The operation includes cotton, wheat, maize, popcorn, prunes and beef cattle.
The Toscan family grew their first crop of cotton only eight years ago.
Southern Valleys Cotton Growers Association chair John Durham said Cavaso Farming had averaged yields of more than 12 bales per hectare in previous seasons, using bankless and siphon irrigation on a cotton-wheat-fallow rotation and employing minimum till practices.
“Cavaso Farming is an impressive operation, which has been streamlined in recent years by reducing the number of crop varieties and finding efficiencies in labour and machinery use,” Mr Durham said.
“Integrated pest management (IPM) practices have helped the operation encourage beneficial insects and protect bees, while a focus on weed control has resulted in exceptional farm hygiene.
“The Toscans have frontage to the Murrumbidgee River, so they have also concentrated on environmental improvements in recent years, such as fencing off riparian zones and installing water troughs.”
The annual Australian Cotton Industry Awards recognise excellence throughout the supply chain, with awards presented across five different categories.
Recipients of the 2017 Australian Cotton Industry Awards were:
- Monsanto Grower of the Year: Cavaso Farming – Tony, Joyce, Matt and Daisy Toscan, Darlington Point, NSW
- AgriRisk High Achiever of the Year: CSD Farming – Mark Cathcart (“CSD Farms”, Wee Waa, NSW)
- ADAMA Chris Lehmann Trust Young Achiever of the Year: Fiona Norrie (Moree, NSW)
- Cotton Seed Distributors Researcher of the Year: Dr Paul Grundy and Dr Stephen Yeates (QDAF, Toowoomba & CSIRO Ayr, QLD)
- IPF Service to Industry Award: Michael Bennett (“Killowen”, Narromine, NSW)
Source: Cotton Australia
The 2018 Australian Cotton Conference will be held at the Gold Coast from August 7-9 this year.