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Do you think cotton should be grown in Australia?

by Gayle Beveridge (follow)
Gayle Beveridge
Environment (72)      Water (30)      Agriculture (3)      Cotton (2)     

Cotton (Image by ronnieb via morguefile)
Image by ronnieb via morguefile

There has been a lot of controversy about growing cotton in a dry country such as Australia. Many claim it requires far too large an allocation of scarce water resources. The cotton industry does not concur.

What do you think - should cotton be grown in dry countries which are subject to water scarcity and drought?

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Top Answers
Good question. I don't really know enough about it to say. To a layperson it certainly seems odd to grow water intensive crops in a country as dry as this.
I really wish I knew enough to make a decision on this but I have no idea how the water usage on these crops compares to others that might be grown instead. And of courdse, its not just finding an alternative crop, it's finding a market for it.

Until my husband and I recently went on an Eastern Australian road trip I had no idea how widespread cotton cropping was and I wonder if we stopped it what would become on the rural communities that depend on it.
If it can be grown, and it seems it can from what you are saying, then yes why not continue.
I would think also that the people who do grow it, found many reasons to do so.
I think info could be found on Google, about this topic, and what is involved.
The issue in Australia, where water resources are scarce is the water usage and not if it can or cannot be grown. Many people argue this crop consumes far too much water and that in turn creates problems particularly during drought.
I can't say that I know enough about this subject to make a meaningful contribution, but we get plenty of rain along the east coast. Surely there is a way to harness this resource.
by Vee
Cotton hasn't had a successful life here.
It needs much water to grow.

Why the billions' of litres that just get wasted when there're flood waters coming down from Qld, aren't used I've no idea.
There must be some people who'd set up cotton farms close to Channel Country rivers. There's enough sunshine there as well.

My Father, a WWII vet. always said if the Japanese had taken over Qld, there would've been huge pipes, & running for hundreds of miles from East Coast to interior, & various farming would've been done there, as the soil just needs the water, & it will grow whatever is needed.

We should encourage ANY industry to be grown in australia! Creates jobs and if it can be done then we should do it... too much has left our shores...
I absolutely agree with you. There will always be argument about what farmers should grow, export etc. If were not careful, and let the minority push there own agenda, we wont have any self sufficiently in farming at all. Just look what's happened to our industry. All gone overseas and more polution goes into the same atmosphere, we all breath. where regulations are far more lax than here. And we import more every week, mostly junk thats in the bin in a few weeks anyways. The doomsayers, will bring this county to its knees if were not careful. People on the land need all the support they can get. Not rug pullers!
by kayea
Was grown back in the '60's at Humpty Doo (NT).
Also grown Western Qld, & I think, Kimberley Region in WA.

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