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Big Year for Cotton

Cotton farmhands Charmaine Sutton, Shianne Gale and Angel Gale at Darling Farms. PHOTO TWH

Farm Manager Jon Carter. PHOTO TWH

The Bourke and Brewarrina communities are about to benefit from a huge cotton harvest, on the back of good rainfall, massive river flows and excellent growing conditions.

After years of drought, poor flows, and exceedingly a hot conditions, local growers are now expecting a big harvest, with great yields and good prices.

Great yields are expected on the big properties around Brewarrina like Rumleigh, Wirricanna and Beemery, and around Bourke on the fields of Darling Farms, Janbeth, Longmeadows and Prattenville.

Around Bourke and Brewarrina, the cotton season got off to a late start with planting commencing in the second week of October, due to the colder weather last year.

Darling Farms Manager, Jon Carter, said that this will delay the harvest till either April or May.

He predicts that the good rainfall will have lasting effects into the next season as well.

The good rainfalls throughout the country have been a double-edged sword though, creating a labour shortage.

“The usual pool of people have found alternative work or are working on their own properties, capitalising on the favorable weather conditions”, Mr Carter said.

“Labour shortages have been our big struggle this year, but we are managing to find people to fill the available jobs.”

Bourke in particular is expecting to benefit with jobs and economic activity as the two local cotton gins open up employing more people and the farming operators spend up on harvest supplies and farming inputs for next year.

Throughout Australia, the cotton industry is expected to see a resurgence of productivity.

Read more local news in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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