MORE than 95 per cent of this season’s Australian cotton crop will contain the new GM cotton technology, Bollgard 3.
Monsanto Australia managing director Tony May said the rate of adoption of Bollgard 3 was the fastest for a new GM cotton trait seen anywhere in the world.
Mr May said the uptake of the technology was particularly remarkable given it was the first commercial season that Bollgard 3 had been grown anywhere in the world.
“The rapid adoption of Bollgard 3 in its first year shows cotton growers are willing to put their trust in new technologies from Monsanto combined with high yielding CSD varieties that offer them a clear and compelling value proposition, right off the bat,” Mr May said.
Early planting intentions indicate a strong season ahead, with forecast hectares already 120,000 ahead than at the same point last season. Indications are the area planted to Bollgard 3 varieties this year could be in excess of 400,000 hectares.
Bollgard 3 incorporates three Bt proteins to kill Helicoverpa spp. larvae, which attack cotton plants, In addition to the Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab proteins found in Bollgard 2, Bollgard 3 contains a third protein, Vip3A.
Mr May said changes to the Resistance Management Plan (RMP) for Bollgard 3 make it easier to grow cotton, with added flexibility through reduced refuge and pupae busting requirements along with less restrictive planting windows.
“Thanks to Bollgard 3, growers have more freedom to choose when and how much cotton they plant. In an encouraging sign, over 100 farmers will join the industry and plant cotton for the first time which is a great thing for the growth of the industry,” Mr May said.
“Aussie cotton farmers first planted GM cotton 20 years ago. Since then, we have invested heavily in local research and development partnerships to bring five different products in seven different combinations to the Australian market,” Mr May said.
“We are committed to ensuring the Australian cotton industry continues to be supported by world-class technology, traits and varieties.
“Bollgard 3 is the latest innovation for Australian cotton growers, but it won’t be the last.”
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