There's big cotton smiles all around the Moree district with a perfect season bringing high confidence of top-yielding crops.
Warmer temperatures than last year, a reduced pest presence of mirids and thrips, and good follow-up rain is seeing many growers predict 12 to 14 bales-a-hectare crops.
Cotton Australia estimates this year's Australian crop will be the second biggest on record at around 5 million bales. Prices are high, quoted at about $700 a bale, and upwards.
The only areas in Australia struggling are in the Balonne River and Emerald districts in Queensland. There's even increased plantings in the Northern Territory and North Queensland.
Near Moree, Weemelah grower Sam Hegarty has put three irrigations into his 748 variety crop, planted on October 17. Early flooding only benefitted the crop.
"If there's no hail or severe storm damage it will be a good thing," he said.
At Rimanui Farms, Mallowa, there was 32mm on Tuesday, that only was a big help for the large cotton plantings there.
Rimanui's farm advisor James Bierhoff said the season had been tremendous with mild conditions, low insect pressure, and follow-up rain after a wet start.
"The dryland crops will be loving this rain," Mr Bierhoff said. Cottongrowers had maximised plantings and were looking forward to at least another three years of good crops with Copeton Dam at 100pc capacity.
Cotton Australia general manager Michael Murray said cotton prices were good and there was "a lot of optimism". "There's some nervousness with possible hail damage, but no major reports of it so far."
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