Farmers excited by NT cotton's potential

Northern Territory farmers excited by cotton's potential

Cotton
Tipperary Station farm manager Bruce Connolly talks up the potential of cotton as a major agricultural industy for the NT.

Tipperary Station farm manager Bruce Connolly talks up the potential of cotton as a major agricultural industy for the NT.

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Farmers have ramped up the pressure to establish a cotton industry in the Northern Territory.

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Farmers have ramped up the pressure to establish a cotton industry in the Northern Territory.

A well attended field day of supporters last week heard cotton was the best new agricultural crop found for the Territory "in years".

"This crop fits so well in the Territory we would be crazy not to try it," Tipperary Station farm manager Bruce Connolly said in the Douglas-Daly district.

Mr Connolly was showing off his "good average" crop to financiers, pastoralists, agronomists and enthusiasts from the NT Farmers group.

It is about two weeks from harvest.

He said he and others had proven over the past few years this supposed "thirsty" crop could be grown on rain alone through the natural bounty of the Territory's wet season.

The only missing piece of the puzzle, the field day heard, was somewhere close by to process it.

This is why NT Farmers is leading the charge for a cotton gin to be established just outside Katherine.

Mr Connolly said without the cotton gin, the industry would soon stall because of transport costs.

Farmers have been using the past few months in the lead up to the NT election in August to lobby for a $10 million taxpayer investment in the cotton gin.

Although the cotton gin is expected to cost about $30 million, the growers have agreed to pay about a third and the processor the final third.

Despite some early misgivings about water use themselves, Katherine Town Council has been convinced to support the push as well.

The story Farmers excited by NT cotton's potential first appeared on Katherine Times.

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