Cotton Seed Distributors gearing up for busy year of research

Grain Central, October 19, 2017

Cotton planting at CSD farms. Image: CSD


MORE than a dozen different research trials are planned for Cotton Seed Distributor’ seed production and research facilities, according to the company’s Farming Lead, Mark Cathcart.

Mr Cathcart and his team of Steve Hobday and Connor Duncan undertake an extensive seed increase and trial program each season, working closely with CSD’s Extension & Development Agronomists, Seed Increase and Research teams, and other collaborators such as CSIRO and Monsanto.

“CSIRO’s plant breeding team have asked us to double the area under trial this season, which will include a number of advanced line trials, continuing the Verticillium wilt trial work we have been investigating since last season, and seed increasing conventional varieties,” said Mr Cathcart said.

Not just a cotton farm, the CSD Farms team have been growing wheat as a winter rotational crop, although they are keen to test out their new Boss L200 cotton planter, which is fitted with the latest in advanced precision planting technology.

Cotton planting at CSD farms. Image: CSD


CSD’s Extension & Development Agronomists are also planning an extensive trial program at CSD Farms, with a number of trials into their second or third year of research.

“We’re heading into the third season of our planting date and row configuration trial, where we’re aiming to identify the best row spacing across three planting dates,” said Rob Eveleigh, Extension & Development Agronomist – Namoi Valley.

“We’ve also got a large scale Verticillium management trial investigating how certain management practices can influence the incidence and severity of Verticillium wilt.”

The agronomists will also be adding data to the Verticillium ranking system (V-rank) in conjunction with CSIRO (based on disease ranking trials across the cotton growing regions), building confidence in the ranking of CSD’s new varieties containing Bollgard® 3 technology.

“We’ll also be screening a number of products and technologies which may improve early growth and establishment, as part of the FastStartTM research and development collaboration between CSD and Syngenta,” said Mr Eveleigh.

“Understanding the field establishment challenges encountered with low density, high yield potential cultivars continues to be a priority for CSD this season,” said Hannah Hartnett, CSD’s Scientific Officer.

Hannah will be continuing her seedling vigour research for the second season at CSD Farms, assessing field establishment and early season vigour of the five commercial varieties containing Bollgard 3 Roundup Ready® Flex technology in small plot field trials.

“Data from the field trials will be correlated with results from numerous lab based tests, with the aim of quantifying seedling vigour and developing a reliable, robust and repeatable ‘seedling vigour test’ to help provide growers and agronomists with useful and relevant data to make informed decisions at planting time.”


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