Water availability is one of the key factors for Australian cotton growers. This year’s availability seems to be very short. Is the industry prepared for climate change?
Dr. Katie Broughton, Postdoctoral Fellow in crop physiology, CSIRO, Canberra, Australia
“Australia’s cotton industry remains agile and adaptive in responding to climate change. We draw on the innovative and valuable research produced by the Australian Cotton Research Institute’s Climate Change Facility, which is a world-first initiative looking at the effects of increased levels of C02 on our crop. Our growers act on research into nitrogen and water use efficiencies to ensure their farms are optimised and prepared. Growers also adapt their business models to deal with the variable water allocations they receive each season, and they continue to investigate using alternative energy sources on-farm, such as solar-powered irrigation pumps. Conservation and management of native vegetation and riparian zones, which are valuable carbon stores, is a focus; and the industry supports ongoing research into nitrogen use efficiency, producing bio-diesel from cotton seed and ethanol from gin trash, and improved weather forecasting tools to boost preparedness.”