Learn about the Australian cotton industry from the growers that produce the crop.
Billy Browning is a cotton grower from the Macquarie Valley in NSW.
Billy Browning, Macquarie Valley NSW
“The main reason we grow cotton here is actually because we enjoy it. The reward versus effort is something certainly not seen in other crops. At the end of the day, when you’re picking a beautiful cotton crop, it’s really hard to beat. Second of all, we’re a business, so we choose to grow what performs economically and what the best return of our water is – and that’s cotton for us.
“This year, it’s our smallest cotton crop in a while; that’s because, one – we’ve got zero per cent allocation, so we’re given no new water, but also, we made a business choice to carryover a little bit of water. So we’re using last year’s water on this year’s crop.
“The biggest misconception at the moment is water theft, and it’s quite frustrating because we’re a heavily regulated industry. We simply cannot just switch on pumps, in regards to water; and so it’s very frustrating when people think that we take water for free.
“We’re so water-use efficient. It is frustrating to hear politicians blatantly lie about what we’re doing with our water.
“We need to band together and make sure we just put the facts out there and encourage any of those haters to come out and have a look at what we’re doing.”