The Australian Cottongrower is an independent magazine for the cotton industry, first published in 1980 and still going strong. The magazine brings together all sectors of the industry including growers, merchants, processors, researchers, suppliers and industry organisations. It has a readership of around 90 per cent of the industry.
It is published six times a year and the definitive Cotton Yearbook is published in October each year.
The Australian cotton industry stretches from Darwin through Queensland and northern NSW to northern Victoria. In a year with plentiful water, around 550,000 hectares of cotton are planted with potential production of over five million bales and a value of more than $2.5 billion.
Well over 90% of the Australian cotton crop is exported — mainly to Asian destinations such as Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Vietnam and Thailand. Australia produces some of the best cotton in the world and it is highly valued by cotton spinners in export markets for its colour, strength, fibre length and lack of contamination.
End users know that Australian cotton is produced under a Best Management Practice (BMP) regime from the field through to the cotton gin and the finished fabric. BMP is an assurance that world best practice is used in growing the crop — especially regarding environmental practices and water use efficiency.
Most of the Australian crop is grown under irrigation, although large areas of the Darling Downs, northern NSW and the Northern Territory are used for dryland cotton.
Contrary to popular opinion, a cotton crop is not a particularly heavy user of water — most other irrigated crops use substantially more water than cotton per hectare. Cotton’s background is as a desert plant and it is well adapted to the Australian environment