Cotton in Australia is a billion-dollar industry, underpinning the viability of more than 150 rural communities. More than 1200 farms grow cotton: 40% in Queensland and 60% in NSW. In an average year, cotton employs 10,000 people.

Cotton Facts

Australian cotton yields are high by international standards, more than three times the world average

In an average year, Australia is the third to fifth largest exporter of cotton in the world

The Australian cotton industry has achieved a 40% increase in water productivity since 2003. In other words, 40% less water is now needed to grow one tonne of cotton lint, compared to 2003.

More than 99% of planted cotton in Australia uses biotechnology, and from 1994 to 2019 the Australian cotton industry reduced the volume of insecticide use by 95% per hectare.

myBMP (Best Management Practices) is the Australian cotton industry’s voluntary farm and environmental management system for growers to improve on-farm production. myBMP ensures that the Australian cotton industry produces economically, socially and environmentally sustainable cotton.

Australian cotton growers, in a partnership with the Australian Government, have been long-term investors in research that has delivered significant benefits to growers, rural communities and Australia. The cotton research and development effort is largely driven by cotton growers.

Australian cotton is in high demand and can attract a price premium due to its high quality characteristics, reliability and a proven track record in meeting manufacturer and consumer needs. Australian cotton is of consistently high quality, almost zero contamination and offers short shipping times from Australia’s ports to Asian markets. Australian cotton is exported through ports in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne

The Australian cotton industry has a 21 year history of independent environmental assessments and is unique among Australian agricultural industries in documenting performance and practice change over such a long period.

Representative group for cotton growers

Cotton Australia is the key representative body for the Australian cotton growing industry. It is managed by a ten-member board, the majority of which are cotton growers. Cotton Australia determines and drives the industry’s strategic direction, retaining its strong focus on research and development, promoting the value of the industry, reporting on its environmental credibility, and implementing policy objectives in consultation with its stakeholders. Cotton Australia represents the interests of growers across significant challenges that face the industry, including water policy, energy, transport, labour, resource operations and cost of production issues.

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