Speaking at the Macintyre Valley Cotton Field Day on Wednesday, Cotton Australia chief executive officer Adam Kay praised growers for their continued commitment to, and passion for, growing the fibre.
It has been a rough year for the industry with incidents of spray drift, accusations of water theft, and the uncertainty caused by the Murray Darling Basin Plan, but Mr Kay said growers were still dedicated to the industry.
“As an industry, this last season we’ve had 40,000 hectares impacted by phenoxy herbicides,” he said.
“Over the last ten years we’ve put a lot of grower dollars into awareness, training and education and yet it’s still getting worse.
“I’m saying this now because we’re trying to open up an industry discussion on the topic and we’re going to be asking our cotton growers’ associations what they want to see happen.
“There are a number of people, particularly those impacted by this spray drift, that are saying we need further regulation.
“There's no way we want to lose these valuable products; we're just trying to get some guidelines around the use of it that makes it safe for everyone.”
On the issue of water, Mr Kay said there had been tremendous pressure on the industry since the Four Corners released a report in July 2017 about alleged water theft.
“Australia’s water policies and systems are held in high regard around the world and yet we’re receiving backlash at home,” Mr Kay said.
“We’re going to have to work with the government to make sure there’s a more effective system in place.”