Cotton growers now have time on their side


Growers could plant tens of millions of dollars worth of extra cotton this season after an industry-wide effort led to growers being given more time to plant Bollgard II.

Growers in New South Wales and Southern Queensland can now plant Bollgard II up until midnight November 30th.

The two-week extension to planting windows was granted by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) after industry efforts to help growers overcome persistently dry conditions.

Planting windows require growers to plant Bollgard II cotton within certain dates to help prevent the target pest (Helicoverpa spp.) developing resistance to the insect-resistant technology in Bollgard II.

Monsanto Australia Managing Director, Daniel Kruithoff, said that the cotton industry has successfully worked together to help growers overcome a dry start to the season.

“This extension provides extra time for growers in NSW and Southern Queensland areas who have been challenged by the dry conditions to establish a crop.

“Monsanto Australia worked closely with Transgenic and Insect Management Strategies Committee (TIMS), Cotton Australia, local Cotton Grower Associations to provide growers a better chance of getting a cotton crop planted this season,” Mr Kruithoff said.

The use of planting windows is an important component of the Bollgard II Resistance Management Plan. A planting window restricts the period in which planting can occur, with the aim of restricting the number of generations that the moth Helicoverpa spp. is exposed to Bollgard II crops each season.

This occurs by limiting the length of time that Bollgard II will be in the ground and thus limiting the number of generations of Helicoverpa spp. exposed to Bt proteins during this time. The greater the number of generations exposed to the Bt proteins, the greater the opportunity for resistance to develop.

The extension applies to growers located in the following valleys: Bourke, Darling Downs, Dirranbandi, Gwydir, Lachlan, Lower Namoi, MacIntyre, Macquarie, Mungindi, Murrumbidgee, St George, Upper Namoi and Walgett.

The APVMA has also outlined risk mitigation strategies that must be implemented by growers. Growers should consult their Monsanto Regional Business Managers or their Technology Service Providers to obtain a copy of the risk management strategies.

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