A new variety of genetically modified cotton is shaping up to be a game-changer for those looking to grow cotton in northern Australia.
Monsanto’s new Bollgard 3 is currently being trialled on a farm in the Kimberley’s Ord Irrigation Scheme in far north Western Australia.
It was planted in early February  during the wet season and is showing positive signs of being resistant to insects, especially when compared to the Bollgard 2 and conventional cotton varieties that have also been planted in the trial.
CSIRO researcher Stephen Yeates said the cotton industry may have finally found a plant that could withstand the insect pressures of northern Australia’s wet season.
“The Bollgard 3 has an additional gene, which will control a key wet season pest called spodoptera,” he told ABC Rural.
“The additional gene is the only difference [to Bollgard 2]. They’re identical in every other way.
Dr Yeates said the Bollgard 3 plants at this stage were growing the same as Bollgard 2, but the increased resistance to insects was noticeable.
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