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Adam Kay reflects on cotton's progress - CSD

Jan '07
Former General Manager of Cotton Seed Distributors, Adam Kay, who recently joined Cotton Australia as its Chief Executive Officer, has reflected on the industry's development over the past 10 years during a discussion on the weekly CSD Web on Wednesday video.

“When Rob Eveleigh and I started at CSD, it was an 'all conventional' cotton industry, with CSD offering about 10 conventional cotton varieties. Today it is offering about 40 different biotechnology trait and conventional varieties.

“Ten years ago there were planes buzzing everywhere as we fought the battle with the insects, but now everyone is concentrating on other aspects of crop management, which is a huge change.”

He said the first varieties with biotech traits (INGARD), were not an overnight success, but the subsequent two-gene product (Bollgard II), had delivered the goods in the battle against heliothis.

He believes that despite significant advances in cotton varieties over this period, there is still significant potential for further improvement.

“CSIRO breeders have been delivering about 22kgs of lint per hectare per year increase and it's consistent over the last 20 years.

“I think that is the next big challenges for the industry are in fibre quality parameters. We need to take quality to the next level and I really believe there is material coming through the breeding program that is going to do that. In the next five years we are going to leave some of our competitors behind and I think that's really exciting for the long term good of our industry.”

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