Cotton industry expert expect CQ to produce record bales

QUEENSLAND Cotton Central Queensland regional manager Rick Jones said while he was reluctant to get too excited too soon, it was looking to be a good season for the whole CQ region.

"At this stage it is looking to be a better season than we have had in a few years," Mr Jones said.

It is predicted the Callide Dawson will produce 50 per cent more than was produced last year.

Last year Callide Dawson produced 40,000 bales and this year it is expected it will produce 60,000.

Central Queensland as a whole is set to produce around 230,000 bales this year, up from 190,000 last year.

Prices have played a major part in the significant increase in production.

"This year yields have so far have been up," Mr Jones said

"There was a bit more planted this year, cotton was $500 a bale and other commodities were down."

The price of sorghum was down while cotton was strong.

"It's a mix of other commodities prices and water availability, rain at the time.

"October had some good rain and it was still good to plant."

 

Rick Jones of Queensland Cotton
Rick Jones of Queensland Cotton James Laws Photography

"We had pretty good growing conditions.

"The year before last we had a heatwave, it was hot but not hot enough, we had some cooler nights, good growing weather," Mr Jones said.

"We didn't get a lot of rain in January which allowed the crop to mature.

"The real early stuff was able to get picked earlier.''

New cotton types have also allowed more cotton to be grown.

"Now with the new cotton varieties they can plant early August to December, it gives them a bigger planting window," Mr Jones said.

Greg Hutchinson with his daughters Emily and Heidi in the cotton fields of Macander, Moura.
Greg Hutchinson with his daughters Emily and Heidi in the cotton fields of Macander, Moura. MICHELLE HUTCHINSON

Farmers in the Theodore and Moura area are only five per cent picked at the moment and fingers are crossed the season will stay strong.

"They are positive, with early yields," Mr Jones said.

"Hopefully, things can change. Last year we had Cyclone Debbie at the end of March.

"At this stage, prices are still up over $500 and it is looking to stay there."

COTTON PRODUCTION:

Callide Dawson

2017: 40,000 bales

2018 prediction: 60,000 bales

Central Queensland

2017: 190,000 bales

2018 prediction: 230,000 bales



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