The role of biodiversity and its importance to the Australian cotton industry was recently discussed in-depth in a webinar hosted by Cotton Australia.
The webinar Farming with Nature: Why Biodiversity Matters was the third instalment in the series There’s Nothing Conventional About Australian Cotton.
Maintaining, improving and regenerating biodiversity in Australia’s cotton landscape has become a high priority for farmers, including Andrew Watson from Boggabri in New South Wales.
Andrew is fortunate to be working with Landcare Australia and Country Road, who has contributed financially to the project thanks to the sale of their Verified Australian Cotton Heritage Sweats.
The Watson family have removed non-native trees from the property as the leaves create a nutrient imbalance in the soil.
The family have developed tree and shrub lines that provide a habitat and highway for native birds, bats and insects that help control pests, and recently, joined with Landcare Australia and Country Road to plant 3.7 kilometres of trees and natural vegetation along the Namoi River.
By improving biodiversity on-farm, the Watsons have sprayed for insects only four from the past 17 years – with the native beneficial birds, bats and insects taking care of the rest.
Andrew was joined by Cotton Research and Development Corporations Natural Research Management specialist Stacey Vogel, and Landcare Australia’s Head of Corporate Partnerships James Link, who were also involved in the project.
The trio share their knowledge about biodiversity in the Australian cotton industry, and why it is such a valuable asset in producing sustainable cotton.
Watch the biodiversity webinar replay here.
Webinar 1 replay: The Seed that Packs a Punch
Webinar 2 replay: Every Drop Counts