The major production area in NSW stretches south from the Macintyre River on the Queensland border and covers the Gwydir, Namoi and Macquarie valleys. In NSW cotton is also grown along the Barwon and Darling rivers in the west and the Lachlan and Murrumbidgee rivers in the south.
In Queensland, cotton is grown mostly in the south in the Darling Downs, St George, Dirranbandi and Macintyre Valley regions. The remainder is grown near Emerald, Theodore and Biloela in Central Queensland.
- 2009/10 – myBMP re-launched as an electronic, internet-based program, significant rains across cotton areas commences in August 2010
- 2010/11 – Record crop of 4.1 million bales, industry in resurgence after almost a decade of drought
- 2011/12: Cotton continues to expand into the Riverina in southern NSW and the industry celebrates a back-to-back record crop of 5.3 million bales
- 2012: Cotton Australia celebrates the organisation’s 40th anniversary
- 2013/14: Third year in a row recording a crop of more than 4 million bales
- 2013: The Australian cotton industry co-founds Cotton LEADS™ a partnership between the Australian and US cotton industries demonstrating a commitment to the supply and use of responsibly-produced cotton through national and international efforts.
- 2014: Cotton Australia signs an agreement with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) on behalf of Australia’s cotton industry to help secure access to future growth markets as Australian cotton growers contend with competition from synthetic fibres. The agreement transfers a BCI licence to Australian cotton produced under myBMP certification
- 2014: The 17th Australian Cotton Conference was held on the Gold Coast and attracted more than 1800 delegates, the biggest attendance on record in the event’s 34-year history
- 2014: Cotton Australia at the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) release the Australian Grown Cotton Sustainability Report 2014
- 2014/15: lack of water reduces Australian crop to 2.2 million bales
- 2015/16 season: there was a slight bounce in Australian cotton yield, with 2.7 million bales produced
- 2016/17: the upward trend continued, with Australia producing 3.8 million bales of cotton
- 2017/18: Australian cotton crop estimated to be its largest in four years, with 4.5 million bales forecast to be produced
Cotton is a natural fibre grown on a plant related to the hibiscus. The seeds are planted in spring and cotton plants grow into green, bushy shrubs about a metre in height. The plants briefly grow pink and cream coloured flowers that once pollinated, drop off and are replaced with “fruit”, better known as cotton bolls.
Inside each cotton boll is the fluffy white lint that we’re all familiar with, as well as a number of cotton seeds. In Australia the cotton is picked with large mechanical harvesters and sent off to the cotton “gin” for processing.
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