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Posted by / 30-Jun-2017 22:02

Dating farmers weekly

This was then pulled out, covered with sails and kept until they came to collect it with a specially designed loading vehicle that would transport it to the gin.”The new-generation pickers are expensive, costing around R10 million brand new.

But, Deon says, good-quality second-hand machines are available at much better prices.“In the US, they tend to use them for a season and then trade them in for a new one.

A cotton-picking baler The new-generation cotton picker Deon drives is customised to harvest irrigation cotton.

Planting cotton Richard owns the machine and a 220ha farming operation.

He sees cotton as a good rotation crop, because wheat and maize are both grass species, while cotton is a broadleaf, “so it breaks the cycle for pests and diseases specifically focused on grass family plants”.“Our wheat and maize also do much better after cotton, because the root structure of the cotton helps improve soil quality,” he says.

This season, Richard planted three cultivars, including Bayer’s Candia, and two cultivars from the Monsanto company, Deltapine.“The two we plant are 1541, which is a new cultivar, and then 1240, which is the older cultivar that replaced the original DB210,” he says.

With the old pickers, a lot of the newer farmers weren’t really willing to plant cotton because of the tedious process.”The 2017 crop Cotton is not naturally a short plant, and the short grower trait has been bred into the crop over the years.

In order to shorten the length of the plant even more, Deon says that many cotton farmers also spray the crop with a growth inhibitor, enabling it to direct more energy into forming cotton bolls.

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