Discussing important issues facing the Australian cotton industry and hearing the latest research was on the agenda for this year’s Cotton Collective industry forum, convened by Cotton Australia.
Held at Narrabri NSW in early August, more than 250 growers, researchers and industry leaders came together to discuss a wide range of topics, from positioning Australian cotton in the world fibre market to new crop varieties and access to water.
An impressive speaker line-up of experts in many fields included National Farmers’ Federation CEO Simon Talbot, Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) partnership manager Corin Wood-Jones, and Australian Farm Institute (AFI) executive director Mick Keogh, who spoke as part of his CRDC funded project on the implications of ‘big data’ for Australian agriculture. A number of the industry’s leading researchers also presented on topics ranging from groundwater monitoring to herbicide resistance.
The Collective allowed the whole industry to come together, discuss issues of importance and learn about the latest science and technology, which helps growers improve their efficiency. It explored topical issues, such as the influence and ownership of ‘big data’, water policy and infrastructure programs, global cotton pricing movements, global market opportunities for Australian growers, and more.
CRDC’s Bruce Finney said many CRDC-funded researchers and research projects featured on the Collective agenda, providing a great opportunity for growers to interact with the researchers and gain an understanding of their projects and results.
“Some of the key research highlights on the agenda included Dr John Bennett of USQ presenting on the impacts of the round bale picker (the JD7760) on cotton; Dr Oliver Knox of UNE speaking about the Cotton Hub; Dr Jeff Worth of QLD DAF talking herbicide resistance; Dr Sam Capon of Griffith University presenting on riparian vegetation; and Assoc. Prof. Bryce Kelly of UNSW speaking about his work in assessing the hydraulic connection between fresh water aquifers and unconventional gas production,” Bruce said.
“Delegates also heard from Boyce Chartered Accountants on the 2015 interim findings from our joint Cotton Comparative Analysis; and a special nutrition session featured both CottonInfo regional development officer Alice Devlin and Nuffield Scholar Nigel Corish.
“It was a full day of informative sessions across a diverse range of topics; a great opportunity to showcase some of our key research projects and for the researchers to discuss their practical application in the field directly with growers,” Bruce said.