Aussie cotton set for an R&D boost



Australia’s cotton industry will remain at the cutting edge of innovation with the announcement that Monsanto Australia will invest in a new purpose-built research facility in Toowoomba.

The increased investment in the company’s research capability will ensure cotton growers continue to benefit from its highly successful insect-tolerant and herbicide-resistant cotton for years to come.

Monsanto Australia is working with local builders FK Gardner & Sons Group to develop the facility which will be completed next year.

Toowoomba’s proximity to cotton production, its reputation in agricultural research and the region’s pool of talented ag-scientists make it an ideal location for this type of investment.

This announcement comes at a time when Australian agriculture is trying to attract the investment required to turn the promise of the Asian Century into a reality for local farmers.

Queensland Agricultural Minister John McVeigh congratulated Monsanto Australia on plans to open a new research facility in Toowoomba.

“Research undertaken at this new facility is extremely important for our cotton industry, not only on the Darling Downs, but right across Queensland. It will play a vital role in making sure we use the very best technology available to grow what is a very important industry in this state,” Mr McVeigh said.

Monsanto Australia Managing Director, Daniel Kruithoff, said the increased investment demonstrates the company’s long term commitment to the local cotton industry.

“Developments in biotechnology have underpinned the cotton industry’s well documented productivity and sustainability gains. This impressive performance was driven by the industry’s commitment to innovation, rapid adoption of new technology and crop management practices.

Providing growers with the long term security they need and expect from our technology requires increased investment in innovation,” Mr Kruithoff said.

Monsanto Australia’s Head of Technology Development, Tony May, said that the purpose-built facility will allow the company to undertake increasingly sophisticated research.

“Cotton technology development is becoming ever more complex and requires modern facilities that will enable advanced research and testing.

“The new facility will provide our entomologists and researchers with the resources they need to undertake more sophisticated testing of our existing and pipeline technologies, and a base to conduct field tests and expanded pest resistance research,” Mr May said.