PICKING SEASON: Hopeland farmer Greg Bender in his cotton crop, which he began harvesting this week.
PICKING SEASON: Hopeland farmer Greg Bender in his cotton crop, which he began harvesting this week. Matthew Newton

Cotton picking season draws to a close

HOPELAND farmer Greg Bender will remember 2016 as the year he harvested his highest-yielding crop of cotton yet.

His first crop averaged around 5.6 bales to an acre, which he puts down to his growing rotation with faba beans - and a bit of luck with the weather.

The second crop, pictured above, is looking to come out closer to the region's average, around 4.5 bales an acre.

By Thursday morning, all 600 acres will be harvested and baled.

Cotton agronomist Neal Stevenson said there were only a handful of growers left who were yet to pick their crops.

Speaking about the cotton season around the district, Mr Stevenson said yields had been about on par with past seasons.

"We're looking at about 4.5 bales to an acre or 11.5 bales to the hectare. There are some guys who have done a little bit better than that," he said.

"Early ginning results - most of it is good quality or at base grade."

Looking to the future, Mr Stevenson said that unless there was a good rainfall event this winter, farmers without access to Sunwater or Origin irrigation schemes were heading for a very dry season.


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