The Cotton Research & Development Corporation (CRDC) delivers outcomes in cotton research, development and extension for the Australian cotton industry.
Cotton Australia is the peak body for Australia’s cotton growing industry, supporting over 1500 cotton farming families in NSW, Queensland and now into Victoria.
Nuffield Australia 2020 Scholarship winner
Richard Quigley from Trangie, New South Wales, receives a Nuffield Scholarship with support from the Cotton Research & Development Corporation and Cotton Australia. Richard will investigate cropping systems and methods to retain more crop residue in zero-tillage farming systems.
With his family, Richard manages their mixed farming enterprise consisting of sprinkler and furrow irrigated crops (predominantly cotton), dryland wheat, barley, chickpeas, canola, and opportunity dryland cotton, as well as a grazing operation focussed on breeding and finishing sheep and cattle.
With the wide adoption of zero-tillage farming, Richard will look at enhancing the method by retaining more crop residue above ground. He believes this will increase infiltration rates and the ability to store moisture, as well as limit erosion and the rate of water evaporation.
“As farmers in marginal cropping areas, we usually find moisture to be our most limiting factor. If we can utilise techniques that help us preserve more moisture, it could produce a range of benefits, from increased productivity, soil health, yields and reduced weed pressures,” said Richard.
“The outcomes of the research could provide increased planting opportunities within, and outside, traditional planting windows, opening up potential to grow different crop types in marginal environments, including increasing the viability of rain-grown and semi-irrigated cotton production.”
Richard plans to visit well-established cotton and grain production areas like Brazil, United States Canada, and England, where growers are using a range of methods and technologies that may be applicable in Australia.