21 March, 2003
__Cotton Seed Distributors has announced that it will continue its contractual commercialisation and exploitation of CSIRO cotton varieties both within Australia and overseas, but will no longer hold varieties that have been superseded by proven superior germplasm.
CSD managing director, Peter Graham, speaking on the CSD weekly Web on Wednesday video program, said this would not impact on the diversity of CSD’s germplasm base, which was nurtured by its relationship with CSIRO, and global access to germplasm through its subsidiary, Cotton Seed International.
Mr Graham (pictured) said CSD had historically been in favour of providing every variety for every market segment, with as many traits and treatments as possible, but this created huge inventory problems in normal years, which were magnified in years of limited plantings.
“I believe that in the longer term, the number of varieties being offered to our grower base is going to have to be reduced, but we will certainly take heed of market segments.
“We will be looking at varieties that have a wide geographical adaptation, and we will be looking at traits that work well for all growers over a large cross-section of the cotton industry,” Mr Graham said.
He said CSD had poured a lot of resources into capital and intellectual infrastructure, resulting in world class seed delinting, seed treatment, bagging, storage and distribution facilities, and also a multi-skilled and diverse personnel pool.
He acknowledged that with the drought and depleted water storages, it would be a tough year ahead for both CSD and its customers, particularly as this coincided with the introduction of new Bollgard® II biotechnology.
“We would like to see early seed orders so that we can get our production system running nice and early,” he said.
He said CSD was already making variety decisions based on seed crops currently being harvested, and its commitment to providing the industry with a suite of suitable varieties for most planting situations.
“What would assist us is feedback from growers and consultants on their future planting requirements, and the treatments and traits likely to be required.”
Mr Graham said CSD had already cut overheads, in light of the downturn in plantings last season, and the threat of a similar situation arising during 2003, and is expected to announce an acceptable operating profit at its annual general meeting on April 8.
He said all operating profits are poured back into research impacting on the production sector of the cotton industry, hence of immediate practical benefit to growers.
“Research is not something you can jump into and out of; it’s a long term commitment that is part and parcel of the business we are in,” Mr Graham concluded.
Further information: Peter Graham 02 6795 0000
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