Australia’s Gene Technology Regulator (GTR) this week issued a licence to Syngenta Australia which could remove a perceived impediment to the sale of cottonseed from the now dominant Bollgard 3 varieties into China’s compound feed and oils sector.
More than 1000 growers have planted 452,000 hectares of cotton across Australia’s cotton growing regions this season, with more than 95 per cent of the crop sown to Monsanto’s genetically-modified, insect-resistant, Bollgard 3 varieties.
Cotton Seed Distributors (CSD), the Australian cotton industry’s primary seed supplier, has commenced site work on the $41 million development of its ‘Shenstone’ cotton seed processing plant and laboratory near Wee Waa in north-west NSW.
Cool wet spring conditions have tempered the development of emerging cotton plants as one of the biggest irrigated and dryland plantings in years throughout the Queensland and NSW growing areas draws to a close.
Australian cotton growers have emphatically adopted the new Bollgard III, insect-resistant lines this season with more than 95 per cent signalling they will plant varieties containing the new GM cotton technology.
The cotton industry is riding high as brimming water storages from a wet winter and attractive prices hovering around $500/bale set the scene for a big planting over coming weeks that has the potential to become a four-million bale crop.
Dryland cotton is set to push back into the more marginal rainfall areas of the NSW/Queensland farming belt as the introduction of new-generation Bollgard III insect-resistant lines and new row-spacing strategies makes it a potentially viable summer crop option
Two decades after the first genetically-modified, insect-resistant cotton was introduced into Australia, the third generation of the technology, Bollgard III, is making its debut throughout Australian cotton fields.
The cotton industry’s Transgenic and Insect Management Strategies (TIMS) Committee has developed a new Resistance Management Plan (RMP) that growers planting the new Bollgard III varieties must adhere to.