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Under the National Landcare Program’s Smart Farming Partnerships initiative, CRDC secured a $1.3 million grant to bring Cotton Landcare Tech-Innovations 2021 onto Australian cotton farms to enhance natural resources and biodiversity.

The ambitious Cotton Landcare Tech-Innovations 2021 is being delivered over three years from 2019-2021. The project builds on international best practice to implement and develop cutting-edge technologies, such as drone mapping and aerial seeding, acoustic monitoring and big data, to help Australian cotton better report on and improve on-farm biodiversity.

Project activities:

The Cotton Landcare Tech-Innovations 2021 project consists of four key activities that involve experts from Australia and around the world working in partnership to strengthen Australian cotton farm biodiversity and sustainability management.

Biodiversity management guidelines for cotton catchments
CRDC will identify priority areas and management practices for biodiversity conservation in cotton growing environments.

Innovation for cotton landscape revegetation (drones & tractors)
Dr. Rhiannon Smith from the University of New England, in collaboration with ecosystem restoration experts, Dendra Systems, will lead research to improve the capacity for cost-effective revegetation on cotton farms by trialling new and improved revegetation methods using drone and tractor technology.

Technology for acoustic monitoring on cotton farms (birds & microbats)
Dr. Erin Peterson from the Queensland University of Technology, in collaboration with world-leading researchers in automated acoustic recogniser development and global citizen science from University College London, UK, will lead research to support biodiversity on cotton farms, including deploying innovative acoustic technologies to actively monitor, manage and report on biodiversity for a subset of bird and microbat species

Collaboration for a legacy of Australian cotton biodiversity action
CRDC will engage the Australian cotton industry to support cotton farmers to use new biodiversity technologies on their farms and to create a legacy of biodiversity action throughout the cotton value chain.

Australian cotton growers are known innovators and embrace new and emerging technologies. Cotton Landcare Tech-Innovations 2021 aims to provide cotton growers with practical and cost-effective technology solutions for restoring habitat connectivity, and monitoring and managing biodiversity across the industry. The project will also contribute towards Australia’s efforts in meeting international obligations to protect and improve biodiversity.

For more information

Stacey Vogel
CRDC R&D Manager and CottonInfo Tech Lead