Major cotton research conference

14 July, 2003

__*_One of the largest groups of cotton research scientists in Australia will converge on the University of New England campus, Armidale on July 23-24, for the annual review of Australian Cotton Cooperative Research Centre research programs._*

The researchers are engaged in a suite of collaborative research, education and extension programs designed to enhance the development of a viable, sustainable and environmentally responsible cotton industry.

The agenda includes presentations over two days by 80 of the cotton industry’s leading researchers on a wide range of topics.

Speakers represent all of the Cotton CRC’s research providers, including CSIRO, NSW Agriculture, Queensland Dept. of Primary Industries, University of New England, University of Sydney, WA Dept. of Agriculture, Northern Territory Dep. of Business, Industry and Resource Development, and the Cotton R&D Corporation.

Dr Gary Fitt, chief executive officer of the Cotton CRC, said the annual review gave all researchers and the national extension team an opportunity to showcase the progress of their work against agreed objectives and milestones.

“It also provides a valuable arena for an exchange of views on the relevance and effectiveness of current research programs and individual projects, and on the direction of future Cotton CRC research,” Dr Fitt said.

“This year we will identify research outcomes that can be taken up by our extension network, in our educational programs, or in the varied decision support packages available to the industry” he said.

The broad range of topics cover all aspects of sustainable farming systems, including integrated management of key insects, weeds and diseases; the role of transgenics; optimizing nutrient and water inputs; sustainable production packages for northern Australia; and management requirements to maintain soil structure and function.

Other topics cover broader environmental issues such as salinity, ecosystem services, and greenhouse gases. The CRC’s outstanding extension and education activities will also feature.

An important aspect of this year’s review will be an opportunity for all CRC staff to discuss options for the renewal bid for the Cotton CRC. “We hope to achieve a third round of Commonweatlh funding”, Dr. Fitt said.

Further information: Dr Gary Fitt 02 6799 1514