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CRDC delivers outcomes in cotton research, development and extension (RD&E) for the Australian cotton industry.

Our investments are governed by a five-year strategic plan, and in 2018-19, CRDC’s new Strategic RD&E Plan 2018-23 comes into effect. 

The new plan builds on the success of the preceding five-year plan and provides an ambitious roadmap for CRDC’s investments. Through this plan, our aim is to contribute to creating $2 billion in additional gross value of cotton production for the benefit of Australian cotton growers and the wider community.

As such, the 2018-19 year marks a crucial year for CRDC in ensuring the first round of strategic RD&E investments under this plan help set the direction for the Australian cotton industry – one of innovation, increased commercialisation and digital transformation.

To help achieve this, Australian cotton growers and the Commonwealth Government will co-invest $24.3 million through CRDC into cotton RD&E during 2018-19, across approximately 300 projects and in collaboration with around 100 research partners.

Setting the RD&E priorities

CRDC works with the Australian cotton industry to determine the sector’s key RD&E priorities; with Government to determine its overarching rural RD&E priorities; and with both the industry and Government to determine the Cotton Sector RD&E Strategy.

In turn, these priorities help to shape CRDC’s strategic RD&E priorities, which are formalised under the Strategic RD&E Plan.


CRDC is funded through an R&D levy, which all growers pay (the levy equates to $2.25 for each 227 kilogram bale of cotton; or $4.06 per tonne of exported seed cotton), with the Government matching the funds dollar-for-dollar. 

Over the past 28 years, over $320 million has been invested in cotton RD&E by growers and the Government – and it has been estimated that the return on investment for growers is $7 in benefits for every $1 invested. 

Current investments

In 2018-19, CRDC is investing in approximately 300 R&D projects under the five Strategic Plan goals. The full list is available here: CRDC RD&E Investments