Learn about the Australian cotton industry from the growers who produce the crop.
Sam Coulton says the cotton industry is pivotal for small towns in his region.
“My journey in the industry really started when I was pretty young; we were always starting siphons from the time we could walk.
“I grow cotton because, firstly, it’s the most economical thing to grow with water use, and secondly, there’s such a good supply chain in our valley and surrounding valleys for growing cotton, and support networks for growing cotton.
“The cotton industry is very, very important for the local economy. It’s pivotal for little towns to have an industry like that because it’s reliable. It’s normally year-on-year, and that just keeps businesses going.
“The drought’s been pretty shocking this year. We’re lucky we still have carryover water from 2016-17; but we have a quarter of our farm in this year. We’ve been able to budget, and we’ve cut our areas back in the last two years, so we’ve been able to spread our crop across three years and spread the water that was in that dam over threes. It does two things – it helps our cash flow and it also helps our crop rotation systems going forward.
“Next season we will not plant one single acre of cotton if it doesn’t rain.
“What really upsets me the most is that divide between the city and the country, where people just don’t understand what we do here, and how passionate we are about conservation and about being sustainable.
“I want my kids, and my grandkids, great-grandkids to live on this property and farm it the same, if not better, than I do.”