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Cotton Industry

Information should be used as a guide only. Information is subject to change without notice and is in no way binding. Responsibility is not taken for inaccuracies in this information. Please contact the Visitors Information Centre on (02) 6799 6760 to check any details.

Cotton is planted in September and picked in April-May. In recent years the picking season has been very short due to the fact that drought has seriously lessened the amount of cotton that has been grown in eastern Australia.

Narrabri Shire is the heart of the Namoi Valley. Although most of the cotton grown in the area is irrigated, an increasing amount of being “rain grown”. The irrigation water comes from two sources – underground and from the Namoi River which is fed by Keepit Dam (situated between Tamworth and Gunnedah.)

Because Narrabri Shire is the geographic centre of the cotton industry in Australia, much of its support infrastructure including research facilities, seed production and ginning is found in this Shire.



  • Cotton is a natural fibre and makes up just under half of all the fibre sold in the world.
  • Cotton grows on a plant that is a member of the Hibiscus family.
  • Cotton is a leafy, green shrub that briefly has cream and pink flowers that become the ‘fruit’ or cotton bolls.
  • Cotton is a perennial shrub that reaches a height of 3.5 metres.
  • Commercially grown cotton only reaches a height of 1.2 metres.
  • The growing season from emergence to picking is approximately 180 days.
  • The cotton plant has a deep tap root (1.5 metres)
  • Cotton plants prefer hot summers with low humidity and long hours of sunlight.
  • Cotton is fairly drought-tolerant but requires regular and adequate moisture to produce profitable yields.
  • Fibre from the cotton plant is made into yarn and fabric, the seeds are crushed for oil or animal feed, and the leaves are turned into mulch.
  • Cotton is grown in over 90 countries, 75 of which are developing nations.
  • The Main Cotton countries are China, USA, India, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan.


More information on the Cotton Industry can be found at the following links

Cotton Australia - Cotton Australia is the united voice for cotton growers across research and development, stewardship, natural resource management and cotton production issues.

Cotton Research and Development Corporation- The Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) delivers outcomes in cotton research, development and extension (RD&E) for the Australian cotton industry.

Cotton Info - is Australia's joint extension Program. is designed to connect growers with researchbringing you – our cotton growers, consultants, and agronomists – the latest news, information, events and research, and helping you achieve best practice.

Australian Cotton - Australia’s innovative farmers and their fertile agricultural land makes it a great place to grow cotton, right on the doorstep of the world’s textile manufacturing market.  The Australian cotton industry focuses on producing superior natural fibres in the most efficient ways possible.  Sustainability has long been a key focus along with a relentless effort to maximise yield, quality and to continuously improve. Learn more about this Australian agricultural success story here.

Wincott - Women's Industry Network Cotton - Wincott was developed to help networking opportunities and learning for women involved in any area of the Australian cotton industry and rural communities.