Knock your socks off with some facts about cotton

  • 99 per cent of cotton grown in Australia and over 60 per cent grown globally is genetically modified to reduce pest damage without the need to resort to heavy chemical use.
  • Using GM cotton varieties has reduced chemical use in cotton by 93 per cent since 1997.
  • The GM varieties currently in use have three added genes for pest resistance, to help control Helicoverpa spp.
  • Due to the contribution of cotton research and development nationally, growers now use 30 per cent less land and 40 per cent less water to produce one tonne of cotton lint than 10-15 years ago.
  • Performance of new, industry standard varieties will be tested on a variety of Territory soils and climates.
  • Did you know? Cotton requires less water than other commonly planted crops, such as rice, corn and tomatoes.
  • The majority of Australian cotton growers are registered and audited to encourage the use of sustainable best management practices.
  • These new varieties and farming systems need to be trialled locally. There are a number of factors related to crop growth, supply chain and sustainability that need to be fully investigated to assist the the successful establishment of a viable industry in the NT.
  • Cotton growers will investigate using the NT wet season to further reduce crop waer use.
  • DPIR will be partnering with farmers to develop pathways that lead to an environmentally sustainable and profitable cotton industry in northern Australia.

Last updated: 16 October 2019

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