Spotlight magazine - Summer 2019-20

The summer edition of CRDC's magazine, Spotlight, brings you stories about the people who are passionate about the cotton industry and how, with added support from CRDC and organisations such as Cotton Australia and Auscott, we are helping them achieve their potential. From researchers, PhD students, Nuffield scholars and the Australian Rural Leadership Program participants, CRDC is building capacity and resilience within the industry.

This edition also includes a focus on climate change research within the cotton industry. CRDC-supported RD&E has been addressing how a changing climate will affect future cotton growing, ensuring industry preparedness for future sustainability. Preparedness is also key to biosecurity and protecting the cotton industry from exotic pest threats. CRDC has been engaging with fellow plant industries to form a cohesive and collaborative front to future incursions. The cotton industry, with Plant Health Australia, recently ran Exercise Blueprint – an incursion scenario focused on cotton blue disease, a priority pest for the industry. It showed that communication is vital in the immediate period following the discovery of an exotic pest, and the industry is well placed to disseminate information and follow a clear management plan.

Australia is no stranger to successfully dealing with exotic incursions and owes much to the quality of the research that provides detailed information about threats before they reach our soil. We also owe much to the growers who continue to support researchers and trials on their farms to improve disease and pest preparedness. In this edition we catch up with Darling Downs cotton grower Graham Clapham, who in his words, ‘became famous for all the wrong reasons’ but is now highly respected and appreciated for all the right reasons. Graham had the first identified case of Fusarium wilt on his property in 1993 and has been helping researchers and the industry overcome its effects ever since.