North Queensland cotton growers recently took a step back from sowing paddocks, to celebrate the successful 2021 cotton crop at a social event in early October, amid forecasts that production could double in 2022.
Hosted by the Jonsson family at Kaban, more than 100 farmers, family and industry supporters attended the cotton briefing, to share the experiences from those who have already grown cotton with those who haven't.
Grower Brad Jonsson said the event was a great success and the perfect opportunity to introduce the cotton industry to potential new growers.
"There is a very good vibe in this region and a lot of positivity when it comes to growing cotton in an area that has the right weather conditions to support good growth," Mr Jonsson said.
"My guess is there will be at least 15 cotton growers in the region next season and that number will probably grow as more and more people become aware of the benefits of cotton."
- Cotton Australia launches jobs portal to address industry's seasonal labour shortages
- Roadmap identifies potential for NQ cotton industry
- Central Highlands 2020-21 cotton season "mixed bag", yields in the north increasing
The Nutrien Ag Solutions-funded event attracted industry leaders from Cotton Australia, the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, as well as cotton ginners, local agronomists and suppliers.
Nutriens senior agronomist Maurilio Rezende, said it's very exciting to be a part of the cotton industry, with 13 growers having planted the crop in Far North Queensland last season.
"We recorded some really good yields across Far North Queensland, but there were also some areas which didn't yield as much as we'd hoped for," Mr Rezende said.
"Overall, the area that we picked, dryland cotton averaged 3.5 to 4 bales per hectare, while the irrigated cotton averaged 7 to 10 bales per hectare.
"Bulk of the cotton was grown around the southern Atherton Tablelands, west of Ravenshoe, Mount Surprise and as west of Georgetown."
Mr Rezende said growers were optimistic to grow more cotton this season, with around 30 per cent of cotton expected to be planted this season.
"We're not sure how much cotton will be grown in the north. We're optimistic for favourable conditions and it looks like the overall cotton crop could increase around 20-30pc, but this percentage could rise, weather depending," he said.
Following growing interest into the lucrative crop, growers have now formed the Far North Queensland Cotton Growers Association to provide a focal point for information and assistance.
Want daily news highlights delivered to your inbox? Sign up to the North Queensland Register newsletter below.