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INDUSTRY RESEARCH

For our industry we will deliver an Australian cotton industry that is the global leader in sustainable agriculture.

The modern Australian cotton industry is a relatively young agricultural industry. Since its inception in the 1960’s the industry has grown significantly and now contributes over $2 billion annually to the Australian economy. This success and growth can be attributed to the industry’s ability to adapt and effectively manage and protect its resources.

As the competition for resources increase, so too does the community’s expectations of the  standards for their management. The CRDC Strategic R&D Plan comes at a time when there are nationally significant challenges emerging. Climate change, national policy reforms and the resources boom are all increasing the competition for land, water and labour resources. The industry’s reliance on specific production technologies and exotic threats to its biosecurity, are also pointing to the landscape for cotton production being quite different in the future. The challenge for the industry is how to move, improve and adapt in order to be recognised as the global leader in sustainable agriculture. The Industry program focuses on Respected Stewardship, Responsible Resource Management and Sustainable Futures as the three key themes which will prepare the industry for these challenges.

Theme 2.1 Respected Stewardship

Crucial to the long term sustainability of the Australian cotton industry is the capacity to effectively limit changes in insect pest, weed and disease threats that can occur through biosecurity incursions, diminishing efficacy of pesticides and GM traits, or through losing access to pesticides. Key strategies to manage these threats include conducting routine surveillance, building knowledge of risks and developing and implementing tactics that are effective in lowering the risks. This theme builds on previous work and continues to support the industry in its efforts to effectively and efficiently manage its biosecurity and product stewardship responsibilities.

Theme 2.2 Responsible Landscape Management

The industry’s location in the riverine areas of the Murray Darling and Fitzroy Basins means that its interactions with rivers, floodplains, wetlands and the Great Barrier Reef places it under public and government scrutiny in terms of environmental management. In recent times there have been significant national policy initiatives aimed directly at improving the sustainable management of these systems. The Australian cotton industry is an active participant in these initiatives however understanding and responding to these reforms are a challenge for the industry. This is especially relevant as the demand and competition for access to these natural resources increases.

Over the last 10 years the Industry has made significant gains in improving its environmental management (biodiversity, riverine and water management). Industry research has also shown the mutual benefits that can be gained from managing natural assets for both production and environmental outcomes.

In the next five years there will be a clear imperative for the industry to demonstrate the responsible use of these natural assets and show leadership in the proactive management of these landscapes. This theme investigates ways to best understand and manage natural landscapes and systems in cotton growing regions.

Theme 2.3 Sustainable Futures

Change creates both challenges and opportunities for the Australian cotton industry, some of which the industry is already aware, e.g. climate change, growth of social media and public perceptions of agriculture. Other future changes are still unknown. For the Australian cotton industry, its long term sustainability will be driven by its preparedness and capacity to respond and adapt. The Sustainable Futures theme will initiate RD&E that looks to the future and begins to identify and consider solutions to these future sustainability challenges.

The Industry research program is managed by CRDC’s R&D Program Managers: Susan Maas (Respected stewardship), Jane Trindall (Responsible landscape management) and Ian Taylor (Sustainable futures).

Industry protects its production technologies and its biosecurity.

Crucial to the long term sustainability of the Australian  cotton industry is the capacity to effectively limit changes in insect pest, weed and disease threats that can occur through biosecurity incursions, diminishing efficacy of pesticides and GM traits, or through losing access to pesticides. Key strategies to manage these threats include conducting routine surveillance, building knowledge of risks and developing and implementing tactics that are effective in lowering the risks.

This theme builds on previous work and continues to support the industry in its efforts to effectively and efficiently manage its biosecurity and product stewardship responsibilities.

We will achieve this by:

  • Monitoring for and investigating changes in pest and weed susceptibility to biotechnologies and crop protection products used by the cotton industry.
  • Exploring tactics and strategies that lower the risks of pesticides to the environment and resistance evolution in populations of key insect pests and weeds.
  • Developing and supporting the industry’s capacity to effectively steward key technologies and products.
  • Supporting the industry’s preparedness and ability to deal with biosecurity threats.

Measures of success:

Industry is able to maintain its access to, and the effectiveness of, biotechnologies and crop protection products.

  • 100 percent of cotton farmers are aware of the underlying risks of trait and agricultural chemical resistance.
  • 100 percent of insecticide use decisions are consistent with the Insecticide Resistance Management Strategy (IRMS).
  • The cotton industry has the necessary science to provide informed input into the development of resistance management plans for biotech traits.
  • The cotton industry demonstrates pesticide management practices that lower the risks posed to the environment and the evolution of resistance in target insect pest and weed populations.

Industry is capable of managing its biosecurity responsibilities.

  • The cotton industry is able to meets its biosecurity obligations.
  • The cotton industry is prepared to effectively respond to biosecurity incursions. 


The Respected stewardship theme is managed by CRDC’s R&D Program Manager, Susan Maas. For more information, contact us.

Industry leads in managing natural assets.

The industry’s location in the riverine areas of the Murray Darling and Fitzroy Basins means that its interactions with rivers, floodplains, wetlands and the Great Barrier Reef places it under public and government scrutiny in terms of environmental management. In recent times there have been significant national policy initiatives aimed directly at improving the sustainable management of these systems.

The Australian cotton industry is an active participant in these initiatives however understanding and responding to these reforms are a challenge for the industry. This is especially relevant as the demand and competition for access to these natural resources increases. Over the last 10 years the Industry has made significant gains in improving its environmental management (biodiversity, riverine and water management).

Industry research has also shown the mutual benefits that can be gained from managing natural assets for both production and environmental outcomes. In the next five years there will be a clear imperative for the industry to demonstrate the responsible use of these natural assets and show leadership in the proactive management of these landscapes. This theme investigates ways to best understand and manage natural landscapes and systems in cotton growing regions.

We will achieve this by:

  • Defining the values and drivers relating to the management of natural landscapes and systems in cotton growing regions.
  • Recording and demonstrating improved environmental performance of the cotton industry.
  • Identifying and proving integrated management strategies which deliver environmental and productivity gains.
  • Researching the connectivity between cotton farms and natural systems in the landscape.
  • Supporting initiatives and partnerships to improve the knowledge and capacity to

Measures of success:

Industry participation in the collective management of natural landscapes:

  • Regional delivery partnerships for every major cotton growing region.


Industry recognised for its leadership in environmental performance:

  • Recognition by national and global initiatives for biodiversity management.
  • 1000km of riparian lands managed under best practice. One million hectares of floodplain vegetation managed under best practice.


Industry contributes to the improvement of landscape systems knowledge and science:

  • A comprehensive database documenting the extent and condition of the natural assets the industry utilises and manages.
  • Two national science based collaborations for the industry to inform surface and groundwater management.

 

The Responsible landscape management theme is managed by CRDC’s R&D Program Manager, Jane Trindall.  For more information, contact us.

An industry achieving its vision.

Change creates both challenges and opportunities for the Australian cotton industry, some of which the industry is already aware, e.g. climate change, growth of social media and public perceptions of agriculture. Other future changes are still unknown. For the Australian cotton industry, its long term sustainability will be driven by its preparedness and capacity to respond and adapt. The Sustainable Futures theme will initiate RD&E that looks to the future and begins to identify and consider solutions to these future sustainability challenges.

We will achieve this by:

  • Scoping and investigating critical threats and opportunities which may influence the long term sustainability of the Australian cotton industry.
  • Supporting innovative approaches to solve traditional industry issues and drive future sustainability.

Measures of success:

  • Industry is capable of leading and adapting to change.
  • Innovations and partnerships established to drive cotton industry sustainability. 


The Sustainable Futures theme is managed by CRDC’s R&D Program Manager, Ian Taylor. For more information, contact us.