Fans of the Northern Territory's push into growing cotton are celebrating the sale of Blackbull Station to expand the industry's footprint.
NT real estate agent Andy Gray said the 14,000 hectare station in the Douglas-Daly region has been bought by Sydney-based investment fund Australian Agriculture Growth Partners.
Blackbull occupies freehold land including Theyona and Blackbull and has Daly River frontage.
The station was once owned by the failed Great Southern Group which planted mahogany plantations on the cleared land.
Customised Farm Management from Moree will manage the cotton expansion at Blackbull.
Mr Gray has told ABC that Blackbull already grew about 800 hectares of dryland cotton and the new owners had plans to expand that further to 5000 hectares.
He said he received other interest from southern buyers wanting to invest in the Territory's cotton expansion plans.
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The sale is believed to have been $25 million for the land and $5 million for the station's cattle.
This year's cotton harvest is well under way in the NT although the Territory's first gin, being built near Katherine, won't be ready to process this year's harvest.
Construction delays caused by the wet season and the pandemic have been blamed for pushing the opening date of the new gin to next year.
Until the gin is ready, Territory farmers have to send cotton more than 3000km to be processed.
Pastoralists in the Top End have welcomed broadacre cropping as a way of diversifying their income away from relying on cattle alone.
About 80 per cent of the Territory's cotton is expected to be grown on wet season rain alone, although some irrigation is planned.
It is these irrigation plans which have upset environmentalists in the Territory who fear the impact from large-scale irrigation schemes on rivers and streams.
The NT government is due to soon release its water harvest policy which is expected to further address these irrigation plans.
But farmers say rain-fed cotton is already being successfully grown courtesy of the prodigious water season rains right across the Top End.
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