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Why is research, development and extension (RD&E) so important for you as an Australian cotton grower?
Because it helps you improve your productivity, profitability, practices and performance.
- Productivity – Today, growers are achieving an increase in productivity of around four percent per annum, thanks to improved Australian-bred cotton varieties and on-farm management practices. Thanks to cotton RD&E, led by CRDC, Australian cotton growers are now growing more cotton on less land and with less impact on the environment than ever before.
- Profitability – In the Cotton Grower Survey, almost 90 percent of growers said that cotton was profitable and consistently their crop of choice. Continuing to improve this profitability is a core focus for CRDC – which is why we continue to invest heavily in work around water management, energy use efficiency and nutrition.
- Practices – Thanks to the significant contribution of cotton R&D, growers now use 30 percent less land and 40 percent less water to produce one tonne of cotton lint than 10-15 years ago. They’ve achieved this through continually improving their on-farm practices in line with the industry’s best practice, which not only helps improve profit, but also demonstrates the level of care they have for the environment and our precious natural resources.
myBMP is a free, on-line farm management tool that helps cotton growers manage their responsibilities to the natural environment and to their workers. It helps reduce risks around the farm, meet legislative requirements and keep the paperwork in order.
The myBMP website provides growers with a one-stop-shop for access to the industry’s best practice standards, supported by scientific knowledge, resources and technical support. It provides growers with tools to:
- Improve on-farm production performance
- Manage business risk
- Maximise market advantages
- Demonstrate sustainable natural resource management to the wider community.
You can tailor the system to your needs, get support via phone, email or in person, and keep all your records in one place.
Visit the website, or call 1800 COTTON.
myBMP is proudly supported by Cotton Australia and CRDC.
Delivering the outcomes of R&D to growers is the role of CottonInfo – the cotton industry’s joint extension program. The CottonInfo team delivers information and R&D findings to growers, when and where they need it.
The team consists of regional extension officers (located across the cotton growing valleys from Emerald in QLD to Griffith in NSW), technical leads (who are each experts on a range of cotton research priorities), and myBMP staff members (who can assist you with all things myBMP).
The team are there to help you with the latest information on a full range of cotton topics – from water use efficiency, Bt cotton and IPM to biosecurity, weeds, natural resources, carbon, nutrition and soil health, volunteer and ratoon management and spray application.
Have a question or want to know more about what’s happening in these priority areas? Visit our website, or call one of the CottonInfo team.
Community and Grower Support
In addition to the funding provided by CRDC to researchers for RD&E, funding is also available to cotton growers and community groups for specific programs, as follows:
CRDC Grassroots Grants
The CRDC Grassroots Grants program encourages Cotton Grower Associations (CGAs) to apply for funding to support capacity building projects in their region.
Up to $10,000 in funding is available for CGAs to help fund a project aimed at increasing the engagement of growers in the industry, solving specific regional issues and improving their skills, knowledge base and networks.
Since the Grassroots Grants program commenced in 2011, it has provided over $630,000 in support to 72 projects across the cotton growing valleys. Click here for a full list of Grassroots Grant projects to date, or here to watch a video on one of the projects that has received Grassroots Grant funding: the purchase of weather stations to help growers in the Walgett area better predict weather events.
Applications open annually on 1 July, and close on 30 November. Applications are reviewed on a first-come first-serve basis during this period and once the funds have been fully allocated, no further projects will be approved.
The Grassroots Grant program is managed by CRDC. Interested applicants must read the program's Guidelines for Applicants and return a completed Application Form to CRDC via email@example.com. Applications should include a timeline, accurate costings, the likely learning outcomes, and the overall benefits of the project for the industry.
UNE Cotton Production Course
The UNE Cotton Production Course is a set of four units that cover the production, crop protection and environmental management of cotton crops in the Australian industry.
Developed by experts in the cotton industry and offered by distance education, the course is ideal for cotton growers, along with others in or interested in the industry (advisors, consultants, cotton processors, researchers and rural science/agriculture students).
CRDC assists cotton growers and others within the industry to undertake the course by providing five part-scholarships, covering up to 50 per cent of the cost of the four units, for each intake of the course.
Those interested must fulfil the entry requirements of UNE to undertake the course (UNE will independently determine if growers and others are eligible to take the course, while CRDC will determine separately who shall be eligible for, and receive, one of the five part-scholarships).
For more information, or to apply for the Cotton Production course, contact UNE course coordinator, Brendan Griffiths.
Future Cotton Leaders Program
Are you committed to the future of the cotton industry, and interested in developing your leadership knowledge, skills and experience? Then you may be interested in the Future Cotton Leaders Program - an initiative of Cotton Australia in partnership with CRDC.
The Future Cotton Leaders Program is recognised as the premier leadership development program for the Australian cotton industry. Course participants have the opportunity to hear from industry leaders, get advice and information to help guide their future from inspiring speakers and meet likeminded people from within the industry, helping them to build their networks and relationships.
The course runs bi-annually, with applications open early every second year. The Future Cotton Leaders Program will run again in 2020. For more information, contact program coordinator Paul Sloman or facilitator Jo Eady.
Australian Rural Leadership Program
CRDC is a proud supporter of the prestigious Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP), Australia’s iconic rural leadership development program, helping to produce a network of informed, capable and ethical leaders working to enhance rural Australia.
The program works to improve the capacity of rural leaders to engage wherever a challenge is best addressed, and wherever they can contribute most effectively. Now in its 22nd year (with a 700-strong network of fellows), the ARLP is a scholarship-based program with a national, competitive selection process held each year.
CRDC proudly sponsors up to two cotton industry leaders per intake into the ARLP in partnership with Cotton Australia and Auscott, and encourages all with leadership roles or aspirations within the cotton industry to apply.
In recent years, CRDC, Cotton Australia and Auscott Limited have supported a number of industry leaders to undertake the program: Fleur Anderson and John Durham (Course 25); Richard Malone and Tim Chaffey (Course 24); Matt Bradd and Meagan Laidlaw (Course 23); Sean Bolan and Jamie Iker (Course 22); Tobin Cherry, Dr Sharon Downes and Bronwyn Christensen (Course 21); and Brooke Summers and Elizabeth Stott (Course 20).
For more information on the ARLP, or to apply for the next Course, visit the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (ARLF).
Nuffield Australia Farming Scholarships
Nuffield Australian Farming Scholarships is a unique program that awards primary producers with a life-changing scholarship to travel overseas and study an agricultural topic of choice.
Scholars are selected annually and must demonstrate that they are committed and passionate about farming and fishing, are at the leading edge of technology uptake, and are potential future leaders in the industry.
CRDC is a proud supporter of the Nuffield Scholarship program, supporting one cotton grower annually to undertake the program in partnership with Cotton Australia. In recent years, CRDC and Cotton Australia have supported a number of cotton growers to undertake the program: Luke McKay, Daniel Kahl, Tom Quigley, Matt McVeigh and Nigel Corish. Applications for the scholarships open annually. For more information, or to apply for a Scholarship, visit Nuffield Australia.
CRDC conducts a Cotton Grower Survey annually. The survey opens each year in June, and all growers and farm managers are invited to participate.
For growers with an email address on file with CRDC, you’ll receive an email invitation to participate – simply click on the link to provide your feedback. For growers without an email on file, we’ll be contacting you via phone.
The survey takes around 20 minutes to complete, and provides valuable information to CRDC and the cotton industry about the industry, on-farm practices, and priority areas for future research.
The survey is conducted by a professional researcher team, Intuitive Solutions, who have many years of experience in conducting surveys. Importantly, the information collected in the survey remains confidential, and only aggregated, anonymous information is passed on to CRDC.
The results of the survey are published annually via both a user-friendly PDF report, and an interactive digital dashboard, enabling you to explore the data in more depth. For the most recent survey report, please click here.
For questions re the Cotton Grower Survey, please contact CRDC: 02 6792 4088.