The summer edition of CRDC's magazine, Spotlight, continues the focus on sustainability, in line with the industry's current work to set new sustainability targets.
"As 2020 comes to a close, CRDC is looking to the future. The future of the Australian cotton industry is dependent on many factors, but ultimately, the industry must be sustainable," said CRDC Executive Director, Dr Ian Taylor.
"Sustainability isn’t just about how we approach factors like natural resource management; it’s also about aspects such as the health and wellbeing of our people, the health of our soil and the impact we have on people, the planet and our paddocks. Since the launch of the Australian Cotton Sustainability Report earlier this year, the industry has been working on setting sustainability targets to guide the industry’s success into the future under the PLANET. PEOPLE. PADDOCK. sustainability framework.
"Concurrently, CRDC has been continuing to invest in research to support the industry to improve sustainability, and we feature some of that research in this edition of Spotlight. Of significance is CRDC’s commitment to RD&E to improve fish health in our rivers, and to give growers information and mitigation strategies to avoid fish entrainment in irrigation systems. It is so pleasing to see growers proactively working towards this in the Macquarie.
"CRDC is also involved with a ground-breaking program with Cotton Australia and clothing brand Country Road to improve the health of river red gums and riparian zones in the Namoi Valley. Partnerships like these are a valuable tool to work with our customers and users of cotton fibre to improve biodiversity on cotton farms.
"This year has seen some big changes in the pest dynamic in Australia with the arrival of fall armyworm – a reminder that our industry is susceptible to biosecurity incursions. This is why CRDC is a partner in the Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative, to harness the RD&E of all plant industries to better understand exotic pests that pose a common threat to these industries. A series of podcasts have been released on fall armyworm, which we encourage readers to listen to.
"A new disease has also been found in cotton fields. A form of wilt, named reoccurring wilt, is currently under investigation. Exotic pathogens have been excluded as the cause, and CRDC is supporting pathologists who are working to identify the pathogen. Facilitating a quick response through R&D has been paramount," said Ian.
Also with this edition, CRDC has included a snapshot of the 2019-20 Annual Report, which outlines key investments and impacts during the year.