Corey cottons on to success
IT TAKES a hardy soul to face the challenges of farming in 2019 and come out smiling.
But for Darling Downs Young Cotton Grower of the Year Corey Hart, there's plenty to look forward to.
A champion of fresh ideas, Mr Hart is eager to engage a new generation of cotton growers in the industry.
It was this passion and commitment that caught the judges' eye, along with a new way of helping to make those goals a reality.
Mr Hart's idea to hold small group gatherings on farms before, during and after season to improve grassroots engagement and build confidence in young growers - in addition to using new technology - proved his fresh thinking.
The 27-year-old is a third-generation cotton grower and said it felt "pretty good” to be acknowledged for his efforts in a pool filled with some "big corporate names”.
Asked whether being a small grower gave him an edge in his out-of-the-box thinking, Mr Hart said it certainly meant you need to be open minded to new ways of farming.
"If you're chasing that bit higher yield throughout each season you're always looking to improve and I guess that's what the panel might have seen,” he said.
"I'm always keen to research, try new things.
"If you don't learn something in the season you're usually doing something wrong I've found.
"So even if it's a failure you're still learning.”
As part of the win Mr Hart will attend the MacIntyre Valley Cotton Field Day later this month and take a trip to Griffith for the Australian Cotton Collective in July.
It was the first time Mr Hart entered the competition, spurred by his increasing involvement in the industry and desire to meet with other growers and see new technologies.
It's an important part of the job, especially as the season stretches on without rain.
"It's been nearly three months since we received any rain,” Mr Hart said.
"Definitely makes people worry I guess, and on the broader scheme of things it's going to make it a lot more difficult to get in any
winter crop for the coming season.”
But as for the future, Mr Hart is optimistic, pushing the importance of getting young people involved in the industry.
"I think young people, they've got to have a bit of a foot in the door, and their voice has still got to be heard as a younger generation with new ideas coming through,” he said.
Mr Hart thanked Darling Downs Cotton Growers and Rabobank for opportunity to enter the competition.