Cotton is an exciting emerging industry in the Territory that will significantly contribute to the
economy and create employment opportunities in regional areas. The crop is perfectly suited to
Territory conditions, it requires relatively little water and is resistant to many pests.
The local cotton industry is at the forefront of global best practice management techniques to
ensure that the health of the surrounding environment is maintained while achieving high yields.
Thanks to improved farm practices and pest resistant cotton, insecticide use has fallen 97% since
Both irrigated and dryland cotton is grown in the Top End, currently the vast majority of cotton is
grown under dryland or rain fed conditions. Dryland cotton depends entirely on rainfall to grow, it is
planted during the wet season and is harvested in the middle of the year. Irrigated cotton is
extremely water efficient and can only be irrigated if a farmer has a water licence to extract a limited
amount of water from underground aquafers.
It is expected that within a decade the NT cotton industry will generate $250 million per year. This is
a significant boost to the NT’s economy and will significantly benefit Katherine and the Douglas Daly.
The industry will create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs, including for Indigenous Territorians.
With cotton it is possible to achieve a successful balance between the needs of the environment and
economic growth. NT Farmers looks forward to promoting the responsible development of the
cotton industry for the benefit of all Territorians.