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    Australian Farmers Cite Benefits with GM Cotton Crops
16/03/06

Grower reduces pesticide applications.

Australian farmers were among the first in the world to plant biotech cotton in 1996, and today, more than 90 percent of the 320,000 Australian cotton hectares is planted to biotech varieties. More than half of those varieties offer traits for both insect protection and improved weed control - two of the greatest challenges faced by cotton producers worldwide.

GM Cotton

“We saw heavy insect pressure early in the season, and … the GMO technology just eradicated any issues,” says Australian cotton farmer Paul Brimblecombe in a new video and podcast available at biotech-gmo.com. “In the past, up to 85 percent of our time has been concentrating around insect monitoring. And this year, we’ve been able to trim that percentage of time back.”

Research conducted by Brookes and Barfoot of PG Economics indicates Australian farmers reduced pesticide applications by 9.2 million kg between 1996 and 2004. “The lesser applications of insecticide equates to greater than 40 kg of active chemical not being applied within our farming area - let alone within the industry,” Brimblecombe comments on his 2004-05 cotton production.

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