Cotton Research and Development

Our biotechnology cotton pipeline seeks to simply crop management and both increase and secure profitability for the Australian cotton industry, through herbicide tolerance and insect protection.

Our strength is in the combination of our Technology and Development team in combination with our research facilities and product pipeline. It means we’re able to identify technologies suited for the Australian market, make them available and provide growers and industry on stewardship and agronomic recommendations – to help growers get the most out of their cotton crop.

Our Product Pipeline

Exploring the fit for Roundup Ready Dicamba glufosinate tolerance in Roundup Ready Flex cotton


We think it is important to take a long term view of resistance and explore a variety of potential resistance management options.

One option we are currently exploring is the possible fit of Dicamba and Glufosinate herbicides for the Australian cotton system.

While it is a long way from potentially being introduced as a product in Australia, Monsanto is currently exploring the fit of these chemistries within the roundup ready flex system.

We are particularly interested in whether this  combination of herbicides offers good control of both broadleaf and grass weeds, including glyphosate resistant and tolerant weeds.

We believe there could be a fit for these chemistries locally. However, research over the next six years will determine whether Dicamba Glufosinate tolerant cotton is a viable resistance management option for local growers.


Monsanto has only recently begun field trials of Roundup Ready Dicamba and Glufosinate tolerant cotton and will undertake this research over the next six years. The trials will be conducted in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.

This research will determine the potential effectiveness of Roundup Ready Dicamba and Glufosinate tolerant cotton across the current spectrum of weeds in Australia.

In the United States, Monsanto has completed extensive research into Roundup Ready Dicamba Glufosinate tolerant cotton and is now at an advanced product development phase. The results of this research demonstrate that Roundup Ready Dicamba Glufosinate tolerant cotton offers growers the flexibility of using multiple chemistries to control current resistant and hard-to-control weeds on their farm. The triple mode-of-action herbicide tolerance provides greater weed control at pre- and post planting.

Current research in the United States includes weed efficacy trials, chemistry formulation trials with a focus on developing lower volatility formulations and agronomic systems, crop safety and developing predicted use patterns.

A comprehensive stewardship program is also being developed to complement the product. Current Australian research is focusing on chemistry efficacy and system evaluation.

Related Resources:

Cotton Pipeline Flyer

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Our research facilities

 Dedicated cotton research facility

The Monsanto research facility in Toowoomba, Queensland was established in 2003 to provide research and development support to Australia’s first transgenic cotton technology.

The Toowoomba facility incorporates an approved quarantine and PC2 glasshouse, an insectary and two laboratories. Monsanto researchers provide technical support services for a range of important functions including regulatory data generation, resistance management strategies and resistance monitoring.

Research completed by the team at Toowoomba includes insect resistance monitoring, and research to deliver new insect tolerant technologies to Australian growers.

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New Toowoomba cotton facility

Monsanto Australia is committing nearly $3 million to relocating its cotton research to a new purpose-built facility in Toowoomba.

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

As cotton technology becomes more complex, the purpose-built 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.

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“Locharba” cotton research centre

Monsanto’s cotton research centre, “Locharba” is located near Narrabrai, NSW.

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Our expertise

Dr Kristen Knight – Senior Entomologist

Prior to joining Monsanto in October 2005 Kristen worked for the Queensland Department of Primary Industries for 12 years. While in her previous role Kristen worked in sucking pest management (mirids and green vegetable bug) in grain legume and cotton crops. After completing her Masters in Sustainable Agriculture, Kristen recently submitted her PhD which investigated the use of biopesticides for mirids.

In her role at Monsanto Kristen manages much of the Bollgard II® stewardship research including; the resistance monitoring program, season long expression of the Bt proteins as well as research to understand and re-evaluate the productivity of refuges. More recently Kristen is completing research to support the introduction of Bollgard III.

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Dr Meredith Errington - Cotton Agronomic and Trials Specialist

Meredith joined Monsanto in 2011 as the Cotton Agronomic and Trials Specialist for the Technology Development Team. Prior to Monsanto Meredith was based at the Australian Cotton Research Institute as a PhD student with CSIRO and The University of Sydney. Her PhD work focussed on the interaction of agronomic management practises with physiological processes in the cotton plants, and the dynamics of nutrient recycling in high yielding cotton.

This research preceded publishing several conference papers, articles and a book chapter relating to this work and to nutrient use efficiency in high yielding cotton farming systems. Meredith also holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Hons) from the University of Sydney, after which she worked at the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research in Canberra and south-east Asia.

As the cotton Agronomic and Trials Specialist Monsanto, Meredith’s role focuses on understanding the agronomic performance of new traits, monitoring weed resistance issues in cotton farming systems and identifying potential resistance threats. She also runs the cotton trait Quality Assurance program, ensuring that all new varieties express the Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex traits satisfactorily to ensure their performance and reliability on Australian cotton farms.

Meredith has been involved with supporting the regulatory application for Bollgard III cotton, and has commenced assessment of the potential place and fit for Dicamba and Glufosinate tolerant cotton in Australia through weed efficacy and cotton trials.

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