COTTON farmers will have improved access to bigger and better cotton picker vehicles this picking season.
The Transport and Main Roads Department has worked closely with Cotton Australia to develop new access arrangements for the season, due to start this month in central Queensland.
The new access arrangements allow farmers and picking contractors to "walk" their pickers between paddocks under a class permit issued by the department.
Agriculture Minister John McVeigh said the arrangements took new agricultural technology into consideration.
"In recent years the cotton industry has been innovative with the introduction of a John Deere picker that picks and bales the cotton into a large plastic-wrapped 2.5m diameter round bale," Mr McVeigh said.
"However, the new pickers were so large and heavy they fell outside of existing dimension and vehicle mass concession schemes for agricultural vehicles. As part of this permit, Transport and Main Roads have undertaken extensive bridge assessments on designated routes in cotton-growing regions.
"Maps have been produced for the cotton industry that specifies which routes and bridges may or may not be crossed by the John Deere picker."
Michael Murray, from Cotton Australia, has been working closely on the initiatives.
"Our industry generates about $1 billion annually to the Queensland economy," he said.
"So it's a win for everyone that these arrangements have been made."
For more information, or to view the maps, visit tmr.qld.gov.au
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