WHITTON’S cotton gin had one million reasons to smile recently.
The Murrumbidgee Shire Community Experimental Demonstration Farm (MSCEDF) became the toast of the cotton industry last Tuesday after their cotton bale was the one millionth bale ginned.
This was a milestone record for Whitton-based Southern Cotton and a reflection of the boom in cotton production in the south.
The one million-bale milestone is a big achievement for Southern Cotton after just six years of production.
Proceeds from the sale of the bale have been donated to Apex for distribution within the Coleambally community. Various community groups grow crops on the MSCEDF and, this year, Apex have been working on the cotton crop.
Southern Cotton general manager Kate O’Callaghan, incorporating a charity into the milestone was a natural move for the gin. “Southern Cotton is constantly looking for ways to support the communities that support us,” she said.
“We decided to market the millionth bale, or ‘golden bale’ as we are affectionately calling it, for the demo farm with the goal of donating the sale proceeds back to the community.
“The golden bale was purchased by Queensland Cotton for a whopping $2000, as part of their gin run, about $1500 above the market rate.”
Queensland Cotton marketing services officer Eliza Star was delighted to purchase the bale to support the community.
“With the expansion of the cotton industry in the MIA, Queensland Cotton is keen to partner in the growth of this dynamic industry,’ she said.
For the independently-owned Southern Cotton, the golden bale milestone sets a strong benchmark for next season and beyond.
Cotton production has more than doubled over the last three years and the early forecast is more than 60,000 hectares in 2018.
Southern Cotton will celebrate the golden bale at a special grower dinner on September 9.