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Bennett J.M.L.,University of Sydney | Bennett J.M.L.,Cotton Catchment Communities Co operative Research Center | Bennett J.M.L.,Cotton Research and Development Corporation | Bennett J.M.L.,University of Southern Queensland | Cattle S.R.,University of Sydney
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension | Year: 2014

Purpose: Many farmers remain hesitant to implement structured management plans and strategies tailored to address soil health, irrespective of mounting scientific evidence for the credibility of certain soil health indicators, an increase in the reporting of program benefits and progress in communicating these benefits. Hence, the purpose of this research is to better understand the impediments associated with the adoption of such programs. Design: Non-parametric analysis of a mail-based survey supported with content analysis of landholder comments was used. Findings: This research highlights that impediments to the adoption of soil health programs are affected by region and that this is likely influenced by the availability, enthusiasm and motivation of surrounding environmental service providers. While the initial investment in soil health management is perceived as an impediment, landholders indicate that production longevity and long-term financial gain are achievable. Education is not viewed as an impediment by landholders, but cannot be ruled out as an impediment due to the increasing complexities of farming and the displayed knowledge of landholders. Practical implications: Impediments and incentives to the adoption of soil health management plans have been identified. This provides for strategic planning in promotion and adoption of such plans, as well as identifying priority issues of concern. Originality/Value: In investigating the impediments and incentives associated with adoption of soil health management plans, strategies for adoption can be formulated and pressing areas of concern are identified. © 2013 Wageningen University. Source


Bennett J.M.L.,University of Sydney | Bennett J.M.L.,Cotton Catchment Communities Co operative Research Center | Bennett J.M.L.,Cotton Research and Development Corporation | Cattle S.R.,University of Sydney
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension | Year: 2013

Purpose: There is inconsistency in the design, understanding, implementation and monitoring of soil health programmes. Despite mounting scientific evidence for the credibility of certain soil health indicators, an increase in the reporting of programme benefits, and progress in communicating these benefits, many farmers remain hesitant to implement structured management plans and strategies tailored to address soil health. The purpose of this research is to investigate the proportion of Lachlan and Macquarie Valley landholders who implement a structured soil health programme and to better understand the role of extension in the management of these.Design: Non-parametric analysis of a mail-based survey supported with content analysis of landholder comments was used.Findings: Results suggests that the overall landholder attitude towards soil health management is positive, although soil health management programmes are often inconsistent, unstructured, or ad hoc. Ongoing communication between landholders, agronomists, extension agencies and scientists is shown to be vital in the adoption of soil health management programmes.Practical implication: By understanding landholder attitudes and management practices, as well as the role of extension, extension efforts can become more targeted and effective.Value: This article shows that soil health management is a primary focus of Australian farmers and elucidates the importance of extension efforts in management and planning. Areas where extension should be focussed are identified. © 2013 Wageningen University. Source


Bange M.P.,CSIRO | Bange M.P.,Cotton Catchment Communities Co operative Research Center | Long R.L.,CSIRO | Long R.L.,Cotton Catchment Communities Cooperative Research Center | And 3 more authors.
Agronomy Journal | Year: 2010

Immature cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) fibers and neps in ginned cotton will affect textile quality and thus can affect overall industry reputations. This study conducted three field studies that systematically varied the timing of harvest aid application to generate differences in the amount of immature fiber and levels of neps in crops at harvest. The aim was to ascertain what crop conditions (percent open bolls, number of immature bolls, percent immature bolls, and percent immature lint mass) at the time of application contribute to these differences, and assess whether these outcomes are influenced by 0, 1, 2 lint cleaning passes. Earlier harvest aid treatments increased neps and the level of neps was best related to fiber linear density (r2 = 0.78). All measurements of crop condition at harvest aid application explained changes in yield and fiber properties well, although the percent immature bolls (r2 > 0.67) can be applied when crops are nonuniform in their maturity, and when they contain fruiting gaps. Relationships between lint cleaning passes and crop condition at harvest aid application showed an interaction between earlier harvest treatments and lint cleaning passes. One lint cleaning pass contributed between 95 and 141 count g-1 more neps, while a second pass added between 101 and 181 count g-1 more neps. This information will be valuable in refining strategies that aim to optimize both yield and fiber quality (including less neps). This study also supported the current recommendation of applying harvest aids at 60% open bolls. © 2010 by the American Society of Agronomy. Source


Long R.L.,CSIRO | Long R.L.,Cotton Catchment Communities Co operative Research Center | Bange M.P.,CSIRO | Bange M.P.,Cotton Catchment Communities Co operative Research Center | And 3 more authors.
Crop and Pasture Science | Year: 2013

Knowing the yarn-strength performance potential of cotton fibre is advantageous to spinners during mill preparation, and to researchers developing new genotypes and management strategies to produce better fibre. Standard High Volume Instrument (HVI) fibre quality attributes include micronaire (a combined measure of fibre linear density and maturity) and bundle tensile properties. While these attributes relate well to yarn strength, alternative fibre quality attributes may better explain the variation in yarn strength. Two field experiments over two seasons were conducted to assess the fibre and yarn performance of some Australian cotton genotypes. The aim was to assess and compare alternative measures for micronaire, and to compare bundle and single-fibre tensile measurements, and assess the relative yarn-strength predictive performance of these attributes. Specific fibre measurement comparisons were for linear density (double-compression Fineness Maturity Tester (FMT) and gravimetric), maturity ratio (FMT, polarised light, calculated, and cross-sectional), and tensile properties (HVI bundle and Favimat Robot single fibre). Multiple linear regression models for yarn strength that included yarn manufacturing variables and standard HVI fibre quality parameters performed well (standard error of prediction (SEP) 2.40cNtex-1). Multiple linear regression models performed better when alternatives to micronaire were used, e.g. using gravimetric linear density (SEP, 2.15cNtex-1) or laser photometric determined ribbon width (SEP 1.71cNtex-1). Yarn strength models were also better when single fibre tensile properties were substituted for bundle tensile properties (SEP 1.07cNtex-1). The substitution of alternative fineness variables for micronaire or single-fibre strength for bundle strength in a simple fibre quality index also improved the prediction of yarn strength. © CSIRO 2013. Source


Long R.L.,CSIRO | Long R.L.,Cotton Catchment Communities Co operative Research Center | Bange M.P.,CSIRO | Bange M.P.,Cotton Catchment Communities Co operative Research Center
Field Crops Research | Year: 2011

Immature cotton fiber will negatively impact textile processing. Three field experiments were undertaken that applied chemical harvest aids to upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) crops at varying times with the intention of manipulating the maturity of bolls and fibers. The aim was to quantify the effects of these treatments on the textile performance of the harvested cotton and relate these differences to the status of the crop at the time of treatment application. Although earlier treatments produced less mature fiber that was lower in linear density, yarn and fabric strength was not affected. However less mature cotton from a cooler growing season produced stronger yarns (by 3cNtex-1) and fabric (by 0.39N (gm-2)-1) which was partly attributed to the smaller ribbon width of this fiber affecting more fiber packing density and inter-fiber friction. Yarns made from this immature cotton also contained more neps. Micronaire and linear density were equally well related, and more strongly related than maturity ratio, to dyed fabric color dimensions, which were greatly influenced by treatments. Percent immature bolls at the time of harvest aid application related well to changes in the degree of fabric blueness (R2=0.89). Knowing the status of a crop in the final stages of production will help cotton producers and the supply chain to predict some of the processing performance aspects of harvested fiber. © 2011. Source

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