In this August 2016 presentation to the US Plant Management Network, CSIRO's Dr Michael Bange talks about the importance of cotton physiology in adapting to emerging challenges in climate and water availability. It builds upon his recent presentation at the World Cotton Conference in Brazil in May 2016.
Cotton production worldwide will be influenced by changes in climate as well as indirect effects such as regulation of water resources. To combat these changes as well as dealing with increasing costs will mean that sustainable production will need to adopt practices in combination that will:
- increase and/or maintain high yields and quality;
- improve a range of production efficiencies (water, nitrogen, energy, emissions etc.);
- seek to improve a better return for products; or
- consider other cropping options as alternatives.
This presentation presents the impacts of these changes on production systems and highlights some options for adaptation with an emphasis on the role of plant and crop physiology to support these. Crop management and plant breeding options include:
- high yielding/high quality stress tolerant varieties;
- optimising water and nutrition;
- manipulating crop maturity;
- varying planting time;
- optimising soil and health for crop nutrition; and
- maintaining diligent monitoring practices for weeds, pests and diseases to enable responsive management.