Spotlight magazine - Autumn 2020

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Published: 
March, 2020

The autumn edition of CRDC's magazine, Spotlight, brings you a feature on the International Cotton Advisory Council’s (ICAC’s) Plenary Meeting held in Brisbane in December. In particular at ICAC, Australia's cotton RD&E was in the spotlight, which as ICAC Executive Director Kai Hughes says, has driven the efficiency, sustainability and productivity of Australian growers. While our growers have achieved yields of up to 2000 kilograms of lint per hectare, the world average is around 850 kilograms. Furthermore, we have one of the most robust research agendas in the world in terms of investment and number of researchers. The world is looking tous for guidance and we, as ICAC members, are on-hand to assist. Australian researchers, most supported by CRDC, featured heavily at the conference.

In this edition, and true to our name as world leaders of sound research, researchers led by QLD DAF’s Dr Richard Sequeira have developed a new matrix for silverleaf whitefly management. A new mobile application is also being ground-tested to monitor whitefly. These two developments are a result of consultation with growers and agronomists, as we strive to manage pests in the most efficient and effective way.

Additionally, the ability of our industry to continually improve and adapt is illustrated through our 2019 Grower Survey, in what was a challenging season due to widespread drought. We have provided a snapshot of what it is telling us in this edition.

Cementing our place as the most efficient growers in the world in terms of water use, we have included the results of the most recent irrigation benchmarking survey. It shows our growers are becoming even more productive. Compared to the 2012-13 study, cotton growers have improved water productivity to 1.20 bales/ML, up 0.06 of a bale/ML on previous studies, where efficiency was 1.12–1.14 bales/ML. This is a credit to growers and researchers.

In our last edition of Spotlight, we talked about the industry’s work in ensuring biosecurity preparedness, and in this edition, we talk about putting this plan into action with the arrival of fall armyworm in the Torres Strait.