Queensland scientists jointly awarded CSD Researcher of the Year at Cotton Industry Awards

26 July, 2017

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CSD General Manager Philip Armytage with CSD Researchers of the Year Dr Paul Grundy and Dr Steve Yeates

Queensland’s Dr Paul Grundy and Dr Stephen Yeates have been jointly awarded Cotton Seed Distributors Researcher of the Year at the 2017 Australian Cotton Industry Awards.

With over 40 years combined research experience, Dr Grundy (QDAF, Toowoomba) and Dr Yeates (CSIRO, Ayr) were recognised for their significant contributions to the cotton industry, through their collaborative research into cotton physiology and the development of practical applications for growers.

Through rigorously planned and executed trials, and a strong understanding of cotton physiology and agronomy, together they teased apart the intricacies of the Central Queensland production system. They analysed temperature, solar radiation, rainfall and the farming system, to determine how this could be manipulated to provide better returns and a more sustainable, profitable system for growers.

“Through a climate analysis in Emerald we found that there was an opportunity to plant the crop much earlier than what people normally would, during late winter,” Dr Grundy explains.

“What that’s enabled us to do is to better coincide boll filling with favourable weather during spring, setting the crop up for earlier picking that halves the chances of being affected by monsoonal influences during crop maturation and picking.”

Their results have led to yields in the Central Queensland region increasing by up to four bales per hectare with significant improvements in lint quality – making a profound impact on the profitability of cotton production in the region.

Unsurprisingly, their research has strong support from local growers. By working closely with grower and consultant collaborators to implement their on-farm research program, together Dr Grundy and Dr Yeates found a successful model for developing a rigorous scientific data set, while also providing an opportunity for growers to see practical solutions in action.

The researchers acknowledged the role played by the Researcher of the Year sponsor, Cotton Seed Distributors, both in research and the broader cotton industry.

“It’s great to have a company that does work hand-in-hand with researchers and supports the work that they do,” said Dr Grundy.

The Australian Cotton Industry Awards were held as part of the 2017 Cotton Collective, at Griffith, NSW. A celebration of excellence, innovation and leadership in the Australian cotton industry, the awards recognise growers, researchers, young achievers and service to industry.