Why RD&E?

Why is research, development and extension (RD&E) so important for you as an Australian cotton grower? 

Because it helps you improve your productivity, profitability, practices and performance.  

  • Productivity – From 1994 to 2022, the five-year average irrigated cotton yield has increased 55 per cent, thanks to improved Australian-bred cotton varieties and on-farm management practices, underpinned by the latest RD&E. Australian cotton growers are now growing more cotton on less land and with less impact on the environment than ever before. 
  • Profitability – In the CRDC Cotton Grower Survey, almost 90 percent of growers said that cotton was profitable and consistently their crop of choice. Continuing to improve this profitability is a core focus for CRDC – which is why we continue to invest heavily in work around water management, energy use efficiency and nutrition.
  • Practices – Thanks to the significant contribution of cotton RD&E, Australian cotton growers use 97 per cent less pesticides, 52 per cent less water, and 34 per cent less land to grow one bale of cotton than they did in 1992. They’ve achieved this through continually improving their on-farm practices in line with the industry’s best practice, which not only helps improve profit, but also demonstrates the level of care they have for the environment and our precious natural resources. 
  • Performance – The result of all of this? Australian growers achieve among the highest yields in the world. Australia's average irrigated cotton yield for the five years ending 2022 (including two years of severe drought) was 10.6 bales per hectare.
The bottom line is: RD&E is good for your farm – and your business. CRDC exists to help the cotton industry continually improve, which is why we’re investing in research across the full scope of production: pathology, biosecurity, insects and weeds, spray application, insecticides, Bt stewardship, energy use, nutrition, water use efficiency and much more. Importantly, growers play a very important role in advising the CRDC about research priorities through the Cotton Australia research advisory panels. 
For more about what we’re currently investing in, and how it benefits you, visit CRDC Research and Development

For more information about improving practices, learning about the latest RD&E outcomes, the important work the industry is doing in sustainability, and using the tools available to you on-farm, click through to myBMP and CottonInfo.