REVENUE&nbsp;of&nbsp;$12.26 million&nbsp;from grower levies and government contribution means the Cotton Research Development Corporation (CRDC) is&nbsp;significantly smaller than the&nbsp;other four corporations on the National Ag Levy Scorecard.&nbsp; However, according to the&nbsp;2016-17 annual report, the CRDC batted above average, with a direct research spend of&nbsp;$20.3m.&nbsp; The difference between revenue and spend is mainly attributed to government grants, with about&nbsp;$6.7m&nbsp;in revenue&nbsp;sourced through a competitive federal grants. This extra income, on top of about $1m&nbsp;interest on long-term investments, resulted in grower levies being leveraged with the extra government funding.&nbsp; A headline&nbsp;performance figure from the annual report was&nbsp;an average 3.1 per cent year on year productivity growth to the industry since 2013. The CRDC services&nbsp;about 900 growers, primarily across two states across only&nbsp;one commodity, which is quite streamlined by comparison to the larger research and development corporations.&nbsp; According to ABARES estimates, cotton generates&nbsp;an average of $1.9 billion in overseas exports, which is comparable with lamb, wine and sugarcane exports. Growers of cotton pay a compulsory&nbsp;research levy of $2.21&nbsp;per 227 kilogram&nbsp;bale towards the CRDC. Over the coming weeks Fairfax Agriculture Media journalists will be focusing on five research and development corporations and comparing their performance.