Growers’ choice is cotton - record cotton plantings again in 2011/12


Growers continue to put their faith in cotton this year, assisted by favourable seasonal conditions and attractive prices, another record crop is guaranteed with over 592,000 hectares planted this season.

There are over 1100 farmers growing cotton this season, stretching from Central Queensland, through New South Wales (NSW), right down to the Murrumbidgee Valley and into southern NSW, with pockets of production yet to be planted in Northern Queensland.

Monsanto Country Lead, Peter O’Keeffe, said the grower uptake of cotton this year is outstanding and the industry’s response to the Cotton Choices™ program has been remarkable.

“Growers have again appreciated the control over cash flow and risks that they have with Cotton Choices™. The program design allows growers to opt for a price discount on crop technology fees, select the added value of late crop removal with extended terms until July or pay a set end point royalty per bale,” O’Keeffe said.

We have more than 200 newcomers to cotton this season. It’s exciting to see growers gain the confidence to try cotton and Cotton Choices™ helps to make the decision easier for them. Many sorghum growers have thrown dryland cotton into their rotation over the last two seasons and have found it surprisingly easy to manage. One grower in the Moree area reportedly told his local Bollgard II® distributor that his dryland cotton was “easier to manage than his summer fallows”.

Cotton Australia CEO, Adam Kay, said there was generally a very positive outlook across the cotton industry. “Late November rainfall in southern Queensland and northern NSW delayed plantings in some regions, but also meant replenished soil moisture profiles and enhanced emergence in cotton crops,” Mr Kay said.

“With current cotton prices sitting at historically high levels, and expected high yielding crops, there is a very positive outlook in the industry.”

According to current seed sales data, over 99% of the crop will be planted to GM varieties, bred in Australia and for Australian conditions.

Steve Ainsworth, General Manager, Cotton Seed Distributors (CSD), said the continued interest in dryland cropping and expansion into new growing areas, particularly in southern NSW, was proving a profitable decision for growers.

Cotton plantings in southern NSW have more than doubled on last year to more than 37,000 Ha’s in the Murrumbidgee valley and just under 18,000 hectares in the Lachlan valley.

“CSD has seen an unparalleled level in grower interest in the southern NSW areas where growers are incorporating cotton into their irrigated crop rotations, some for the first time. It is also pleasing to see strong interest in dryland cotton with this system being now being embraced as an important summer crop across the northern farming systems” Mr Ainsworth said.


Media inquiries please contact:
Monsanto: Keryn McLean, Corporate Affairs Lead, 03 9522 7199
Cotton Australia: David Bone, National Communications Manager, 02 9669 5222
Cotton Seed Distributors: Steve Ainsworth, General Manager, (02) 6795 0000

About Monsanto Company:
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world’s natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit:

Roundup Ready Flex and Bollgard II are registered trademarks of Monsanto Technologies LLC, used under licence by Monsanto Australia Ltd.
Cotton Choices™ is a trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC used under license by Monsanto Australia Ltd.