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CSIRO invests $25m in cotton industry

Manufacturing News

CSIRO has unveiled a $25 million upgrade to its Myall Vale site in NSW with new purpose-built facilities to support cutting-edge cotton research.

The upgrades include the newly-built Cotton Management Research Laboratory, which allows the precise pre-emptive monitoring of potential insect resistance and the measurement of crop nutritional status for improved management, as well as new cotton breeding areas, increased storage and processing areas.

CSIRO’s Executive Director, Future Industries, Kirsten Rose said the investment in the expanded facilities demonstrated CSIRO’s commitment to the cotton industry.

Rose said: “Our cotton breeding work is world-class and our long-term commitment to the cotton industry which has been developed over half a century is now ensured into the future.

“From humble beginnings 50 years ago, 100 per cent of cotton now grown in Australia is a product of CSIRO science.”

The Australian cotton industry produces 680,000 tonnes of cotton a year worth $1.8 billion, with high quality cotton grown on farms which yield three times the world average.

The leader of CSIRO’s Cotton Breeding Program Warwick Stiller, said the new facilities further cemented CSIRO as a world leader in cotton research.

Dr Stiller said: “The work our researchers are doing at Myall Vale is globally recognised, from developing pest-resistant cotton to producing more sustainable varieties that require less water.

“Myall Vale is a unique site embedded with the local industry and community, and our partnerships with industry don’t just deliver huge economic benefits to the community but to Australia as a whole.”

Cotton Seed Distributors (CSD) Managing Director Peter Graham welcomed the opening of the new facilities saying it was a major boost not just for NSW but cotton growers Australia-wide.

Graham said: “This increased capacity for the breeding and processing of cotton positions us strongly for growth in the domestic market and for a growing international presence.

“The CSIRO-CSD partnership will grow to new heights as we boost the research effort here at Myall Vale and continue to grow interest internationally in the value of the Australian cotton industry.”

CSIRO first established a presence at Myall Vale in 1972 with the opening of the Cotton Research Unit with the NSW Department of Primary Industries – now known as the Australian Cotton Research Institute.

Picture: CSIRO’s Myall Vale site

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