Australian Cotton Researchers Explore Future Collaborations with Cotton Incorporated
July 24, 2015
Bruce Finney, Allan Williams and Dr. Ian Taylor, from Australia’s Cotton Research and Development Center (CRDC) and Mike Bange, CSIRO Cotton Research Unit, visited Cotton Incorporated July 20 -23 to explore areas of future collaboration in agricultural research and textile manufacturing.
Three broad areas of interest in agricultural research were identified: increase product value, evaluation of sustainability metrics, and developing technologies to support the farm of the future. One aspect of a sustainable cotton system is economic – if the value of the product does not cover the cost of production cotton will not be sustainable. Therefore, efforts to increase the value of all cotton products were discussed, including improved fiber properties, capturing more value from cottonseed, and development of additional uses for cotton by-products. In the area of metrics, progress on the agricultural data collection to support the update of the global cotton life cycle assessment (LCA) was reviewed via a conference call with Thinkstep, the company helping us with the LCA model. Lastly, one of the discussions around the future farm was that of increasing our ability to extract information from all of the data generated by modern production systems.
CRDC toured Cotton Incorporated’s Research Center to learn more about ongoing research to improve responsible cotton textile manufacturing. In addition, the wide variety of Cotton Incorporated services were shared including research projects, technical assistance to the industry and product development. Many of the research interests discussed were closely related to Cotton Incorporated’s current activities, which led to discussions of future collaboration opportunities for both organizations. More detailed information was shared by both organizations related to cotton’s market trends that influence project prioritization.