Media Release

Unveiled, 18 years of cotton research

4 July 2014

Over 18 years of cotton research has been brought together with a major CSIRO publication launched today.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, today launched the cotton Special Editions (Parts 1 & 2) of the Crop and Pasture Science Journal at the University of New England with the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC).

The Journal editions outline some of the major outcomes achieved for cotton growers as a result of Government and grower-funded research and development (R&D), including an increase in water use efficiency of 40 percent over the past decade.

"These editions outline some of the major gains made by R&D on behalf of cotton growers – in everything from yield improvements to integrated pest and weed management," Minister Joyce said.

"They document the highlights from the past 18 years of cotton R&D through the Cotton Catchment Communities Cooperative Research Centre (Cotton CRC) and its two predecessors, of which the Government, through the CRDC, was a major investor.

"The Cotton CRC reached its natural conclusion in 2012, but importantly, cotton R&D continues to benefit growers through the CRDC, which is why I am today joining with CRDC Chair, Dr Mary Corbett, for this launch.

"In this coming year, CRDC will invest some $24 million on behalf of Australian cotton growers and the government into cotton R&D with its research partners, including the University of New England, aimed at driving improvements in productivity and profitability on cotton farms."

The Australian Government is an important contributor to the CRDC, matching grower levies dollar for dollar. The Government also demonstrated its commitment to rural research in May by announcing $100 million in new funding for R&D specifically to support continued innovation in our agriculture sectors.

"We know that research is a key driver in the growth of any industry, and it remains at the forefront of government decisions and plays a major role in our policies," Minister Joyce said.

"Cotton is the largest natural fibre market in the world and has become a major world commodity. Here in Australia we excel in its production, so we are always looking at ways to remain competitive.

"For the last two seasons (2011-12 and 2012-13), the Australian cotton industry has generated in excess of $2.7 billion and $2.6 billion respectively in export revenue, making it one of Australia’s largest rural export earners and helping to underpin the viability of many rural communities."

Minister Joyce congratulated the CSIRO for integrating years-worth of valuable research outcomes into an accessible publication for cotton growers and the wider industry.

"The great results achieved thus far by cotton R&D, combined with the continued investment by the CRDC on the industry’s behalf, will continue driving the world-leading Australian cotton industry," Minister Joyce said.

The Crop and Pasture Science Journal is a prestigious international journal publishing original research on advances in plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality.

To access the Special Editions, visit http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/43/issue/6654.htm and http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/43/issue/6658.htm.

For more information on the CRDC and its current cotton R&D priorities and investments, visit www.crdc.com.au.