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SYDNEY – Australian cotton growers have almost halved the amount of water required to grow one bale of cotton over the last 25 years, according to new research. A briefing by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), supported by Cotton Research and Development Corporation revealed water usage had fallen from 1.43 megalitres per bale (ML/bale) in 1995 to 0.74 ML/bale in 2020, driven mainly through improvements in irrigation infrastructure and management efficiencies, underpinned by research and development.

Cotton growers are now looking to reach a benchmark target of 0.71 megalitres per bale by 2024.

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