Biotech Updates

GM Cotton Yield Comparing Well Against Commercial Varieties

October 9, 2009

Cotton trials at the Department of Agriculture and Food's research station near Kununurra are being harvested with yields comparing well against commercial crops elsewhere in Australia, Western Australia's Agriculture Department said in a press release. Penny Goldsmith, Department research officer, said a trial crop planted to commercial standards yielded 9.7 bales per hectare, slightly higher than the Australian average in 2007-08 of 9.3 bales per hectare. "Fifteen genetically modified cotton varieties were sown on the department's research station in April, all carrying the combination of genes which provides resistance to bollworm and budworm plus tolerance to Roundup herbicide," Goldsmith said.

According to Goldsmith, cotton cultivation on the Ord was abandoned in 1974 after key insect pests became uncontrollable. "New genetically modified varieties developed since then had resulted in adoption interstate," she said.

Western Australia's Department of Agriculture and Food said that 95 per cent of Australian cotton is genetically modified and most is exported.

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