Cotton Industry THE COTTON INDUSTRY IN AUSTRALIA 1. Introduction Cotton is one of the oldest fibres used by human beings. Archaeologists have found cotton 5000 years old. Alexander the Great, around 300 BC, brought cotton goods into Europe but only the rich could afford it. The cotton plant grew wild in East Africa.
Cotton belongs to the Hibiscus family. Our commercial varieties of cotton were developed from perennial shrubs in Central America. (Source A) 2. History of the cotton industry. Governor Phillip brought cottonseeds to Australia on the First Fleet in 1788.
However, substantial production really only occurred in the 1860’s with the American Civil war creating a shortage for the English spinners. Large areas of dryland cotton were planted in Queensland to meet the demand. A similar burst in production occurred in the 1930’s when the American cotton crop had boll weevil problems. By 1934 Australia’s production had risen to 17,000 bales, but 20 years later our cotton industry was almost non existent. Interest in cotton revived in the 1960’s when the construction of major dams in northern NSW and southern Queensland enabled irrigated cotton production. Another boost to the industry was the arrival in Wee Waa of two American cotton growers who showed how to grow the crop.
Irrigated and dryland planting have continued to expand since then. In 1998, production peaked at 3 million bales. (Source B) 3. Value of cotton industry to domestic/export to Australia. Australia is the fourth largest cotton growing country in the world Cotton is Australia’s fifth biggest rural export worth more than $800 million.
(Source A) The value of Australias raw cotton is now more than $1.5 billion, while the meal and oil produced from cotton seed contribute a further $100 million to the Australian economy. Last year, Cotton Australia claimed a record in cotton production with production of 681 tonnes of raw cotton outstripping wool production for the first time in Australian history. Australia produced a record 3 million bales of high quality cotton last year – 97% of this was exported to buyers in Indonesia, Korea and Japan. Cotton production in Australia has trebled since 1985 and doubled in the past three years. For every one-dollar earned in irrigation farming generates $6 in the wider community. Cotton Australia chief executive officer; Gary Punch said cotton production would double in the next three to five years.
(Australian Cotton Outlook, September 1998) 4. Cotton industry organizations and their roles. The Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Cotton Production (Cotton CRC) was established in 1993 under the Commonwealth Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Program. Its brief is to develop strategies that ensure Australia’s cotton industry remains an economically sound and environmentally safe rural enterprise. The CRC researches sustainable production and improved techniques of growing. It is also researching breaking the dependence on pesticides, maintaining good sill quality, using water efficiently, irrigation water quality and searching for value adding opportunities.
The Australian Cotton Industry Council (ACIC) is the industry body for cotton growers. Its aim is to promote and protect the cotton industry. The Queensland Cotton Corporation Limited is Australia’s largest marketer and processor of cotton. It recently opened it first international office in California. It has just expanded the Dalby cotton gin and is constructing gins at Dirranbandi and Moura.
(Source C) 5. Cotton industry distribution and why it is where it is. 6. Cost of production of irrigated cotton. For an irrigated cotton crop (Source E) Primary till costs $6.35/hectare, secondary till costs $5 hectare, inter row – $3.70 hectare, boom spray (4 times) -$7.40 hectare, aerial spraying – (13times) -$104 hectare, planting – $4.25 hectare, harvesting -$68 hectare, eliminator – $6.35 hectare.
Planting is recommended at 12kilograms of seed per hectare at a cost of $33.60 per hectare. Fertiliser (nitrogen) -$111.22 hectare, fertilizer (starter Z) -$36.30 hectare, Herbicides – $70.45 hectare, Insecticides $507.66 hectare, Conditioners- $70.71 hectare. Irrigation -$180 hectare, Crop consultant -$42 hectare, Field handling – $84.80 hectare, Insurance $96.hectare, Casual labour- $80 hectare, Chipping – $42 hectare, Interest on crop credit – $58.09 hectare, Tarps, ropes etc – $16 hectare. Expected yield – $8t /hectare. Expected price – $450 tonne. TOTAL VARIABLE COSTS for growing / harvesting irrigated cotton – $1634/hectare. EXPECTED INCOME IS $3600 per hectare.
GROSS MARGIN – $1,966 per hectare. 7. Yearly work program. (Detailed as above in costing) Planting time is from early October to mid-November (late October preferred) Early planting under cool and or wet conditions is more susceptible to seedling diseases and sucking insects attack. Planting does occur from late September until mid November for irrigated crops and until late November for dryland crops on the northern Darling Downs. Minimum soil temperature (Measured at about 7.00 am) of 17 degrees C at planting depth for 3 days and warm weather following are the desirable conditions for planting to ensure rapid germination, establishment and development. Harvest occurs from March to June. (Source D) 8. Conclusion.
The cotton industry is one of Australias finest industries so if you are looking for an industry that you are willing to put a lot of effort into and also have a little bit of money than the cotton industry is for you. The prices for cotton is also quite substantial, cotton as you have read also needs a great deal of work and labour so you do require contact labourers for some of the jobs but the information in this assignment definitely suggests that cotton is a great industry to get into. Contents 1. Introduction 2. History of cotton industry. 3. Value of cotton industry to domestic/export to Australia.
4. Cotton industry organizations and their roles. 5. Cotton industry distribution and why it is where it is. 6.
Cost of production of irrigated cotton. 7. Yearly work program. 8. Conclusion. 9.
Bibliography Bibliography Australian Primary Industries-Cotton, http://www.rochedaless.qld.edu.au/cotton.htm (Source: A) Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Cotton Production research booklet (Source: B) Queensland Cotton Corporation Limited http://www.qcotton.com.au/profile/default.htm (Source: C) Department of Primary Industries Booklet on, Cotton- Planting and Harvesting.