Cotton

Cotton is a natural fibre and the most used textile fibre in the world. It is currently grown in more than 100 countries.

Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of cotton. More than 90% of cotton produced in Australia is exported.

Currently, 98% of cotton grown in Australia is genetically modified (GM).

GM cotton varieties have helped the Australian cotton industry reduce pesticide use by 95% since 1993.

Cotton production in the NT

Cotton production is an emerging industry in the Northern Territory (NT). There are six growers in the market.

In 2019 and 2020, 800 hectares of cotton was grown in the NT across six properties in the Katherine and Top End regions.

Eighty per cent of the total area was rain-fed. Rain-fed farming, also known as dryland farming, uses rainfall as the primary water source.

It is expected that 80% of future cotton farming in the NT will use rain-fed cropping systems.

The remaining 20% will likely be supplemented by irrigation where adequate water resources are already allocated and matched to suited soils.

Cotton trials in the NT

Cotton trials are being carried out at the Katherine Research Station.

These trials are growing Bollgard3 cotton and use modern agriculture science and technology.

Combined, these methods greatly reduce the use of chemicals and water.

Find out more about the cotton trials on the Department of Primary, Industry and Resources (DPIR) website.

More information

For more information about the cotton industry, go to NT Farmers or the Cotton Australia website.

Contact

To find out more, contact the agriculture division on 08 8999 6058 or email aginvest.dpir@nt.gov.au.

Last updated: 22 July 2020

Share this page:

Was this page useful?

Describe your experience

More feedback options

To provide comments or suggestions about the NT.GOV.AU website, complete our feedback form.

For all other feedback or enquiries, you must contact the relevant government agency.