GM cotton trial crops ready for harvest
The harvest of cotton trials in the Ord Valley started in earnest this week with the hand picking of several varieties for analysis.
This is the second year genetically modified cotton has been planted in the region for a joint trial between the Northern Australia Crop Research Alliance in partnership with CSIRO and Cotton Research and Development Corporation.
The GM crop was planted between January and March, in the Kimberley wet season, across 16ha on Ceres Farm in Packsaddle and more than 300ha of black soil managed by Kimberley Agricultural Investment.
CSIRO principal research agronomist Stephen Yeates said this year looked to be a bit tougher for cotton after a hot April. He said regardless of the results the team was learning a lot from the threeyear trial.
Wet season plantings have been made possible by Monsanto’s release of a new genetically modified cotton variety called Bollgard 3. The main cotton harvest will start next week with the arrival of a large piece of harvesting equipment.
Ord Co senior agronomist Penny Goldsmith hand-picking cotton for testing at Ceres Farm.