Australian Cotton History

2 row pickers

  • 1788 - The First Fleet brings cottonseed to Australia
     
  • 1830 - First shipment of cotton exported to England, consisting of three bags
     
  • 1857 - Small quantities of dryland cotton grown in Queensland
     
  • 1861-65 - American Civil War causes American cotton production to fall.  Australia attempts to fill the gap
     
  • 1870s - Australian cotton production peaks then falls as world prices decline
     
  • 1926 - The Queensland Cotton Marketing Board is established.  Government subsidy introduced to promote production in central Queensland
     
  • 1934 - Cotton production reaches 17,000 bales
     
  • 1954 - Cotton industry almost non-existent
     
  • 1958 - Keepit Dam is completed on the Namoi River in NSW, providing irrigation water to the Namoi Valley
     
  • 1960 - Limited irrigated cotton production commences in south-west Queensland
     
  • 1961 - Commercial crop planted at Wee Waa, using water from Keepit Dam
     
  • 1966 - Cotton established in the Macquarie Valley following completion of the Burrendong Dam.  Cotton production also begins at Bourke
     
  • 1968 - Emerald Irrigation Area produces first exportable surplus
     
  • 1971 - Raw Cotton Bounty removed at the request of the cotton industry.   Cotton production reaches 87,000 bales
     
  • 1973 - Cotton production on the Ord River Scheme ceases, mainly due to insect resistance to pesticides
     
  • 1975 - Cotton production reaches 110,000 bales
     
  • 1976 - Cotton established in Gwydir Valley at Moree using water from the newly constructed Copeton Dam
     
  • 1977 - The construction of the Pindari and Glenlyon Dams allows cotton to be grown in the Macintyre Valley in Southern Queensland
     
  • 1980 - Cotton production reaches 435,000 bales
     
  • 1985 - Cotton production reaches 1.1 million bales
     
  • 1990 - Cotton industry self-funds First Environmental Audit, leading to introduction of Best Management Practices (BMP)
     
  • 1992 - World record yields in Australia lead to record 2.2 million bale crop
     
  • 1995 - Drought causes harvest to fall to 1.5 million bales
     
  • 1996 - The first transgenic cotton variety (Ingard®) introduced to Australia
     
  • 1997 - Cotton production reaches 2.7 million bales
     
  • 2001 - Crop reaches record high of 3.4 million bales
     
  • 2001 - World cotton price reaches lowest level in nearly 30 years
     
  • 2002 - Roundup Ready® cotton introduced to Australia
     
  • 2002/04 - Worst drought in 100 years results in 60 per cent reduction in crop size
     
  • 2003 - Cotton industry undertakes Second Environmental Audit
     
  • 2003 - Transgenic Bollgard II® variety introduced to Australia, replacing Ingard®
     
  • 2005 - Australian crop sets new world record yield, leading to a 2.9 million bale crop
     
  • 2005/06 - 95% of Australia’s cotton growers plant transgenic varieties, accounting for 80 per cent of total cotton crop
     
  • 2007/08 - Australian cotton industry severely impacted by drought, leading to smallest crop in 30 years
     
  • 2008/09 - A new path is set for Cotton Australia as it merges with a key research partner, the Australian Cotton Growers Research Association (ACGRA)
     
  • 2009/10 - myBMP re-launched as an electronic, internet-based program, significant rains across cotton areas commences in August 2010
     
  • 2010/11 - Record crop of 4.1 million bales, industry in resurgence after almost a decade of drought