More than 300 people flocked to the Cotton Grower of the Year Field Day, convened at Darlington Point in the NSW southern valleys last week.
The field day, held on March 27, recognised the achievements of the Toscan family of Cavaso Farming, who were the recipients of the 2017 Monsanto Cotton Grower of the Year Award. It also provided growers and industry participants with the opportunity to see Cavaso Farming’s operations in action.
Cavaso Farming is an irrigated cropping enterprise on 4200ha across eight properties at Darlington Point and Coleambally. The operation includes cotton, wheat, maize, popcorn, prunes and beef cattle.
“I congratulate the Southern Valleys Cotton Growers Association (SVCGA) on organising such a fantastic event, which gave the attendees great insight into the Toscans’ innovative production practices,” says Cotton Australia CEO, Adam Kay.
“Cavaso Farming produced its first cotton crop just eight years ago, and it is remarkable how the Toscans’ drive for excellence has produced such an impressive result in a short time. The annual Australian Cotton Industry Awards recognise high achievement in all aspects of cotton production, and has found an extraordinary exemplar in Cavaso Farming.”
Southern Valleys Cotton Growers Association Chair John Durham says 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 says.
“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.”
“I take this opportunity to thank the Toscans for hosting growers and others in the industry on their properties, and also those who attended to participate in the event.”
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)