Stories: on the farm

Cotton production

Leadership is built from the ground up. That’s why the Cotton LEADSTM program is driven by Australian and U.S. producers, scientists and other professionals dedicated to sustainable cotton production. Get to know the growers and researchers who, season after season, are investigating and implementing solutions that improve cotton’s environmental footprint.

  • Dr. Paxton Payton

    Lubbock, TX, USA

    Dr. Paxton Payton is a plant physiologist who studies the impact of stressors such as drought and temperature on plant growth. He also works to develop crop management tools, which allow growers to maximize their yields with limited inputs.

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  • Alice Devlin and Lou Gall

    Gwydir Valley, NSW, Australia

    Regional Extension teams work closely to translate research findings into information growers can readily use.

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  • Sledge and David Taylor

    Como, MS, USA

    The Taylors paint a picture of stewardship strengthened by precision ag technologies, which allow them to cut down on water, fertilizer and plant protection products.

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  • Tim and Sally Watson

    Hillston, NSW, Australia

    Resourceful and willing to challenge conventions, the Watsons demonstrate just how progressive Australia’s cotton industry has become.

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  • The Schniers Family

    San Angelo, TX, USA

    This farming family uses precision ag technology to increase water and input efficiency. They also changed tactics for pest management – and haven’t sprayed for boll weevils in years.

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  • Dr. Katie Broughton

    Narrabri, NSW, Australia

    Researcher Katie Broughton is studying the effects of elevated temperatures and CO2 levels on cotton crops. Her research, a first for the global cotton industry, aims to help us keep management strategies ahead of climate change.

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  • Dr. Dan Carmichael

    Lamesa, TX, USA

    Researcher Dan Carmichael is a champion for water conservation. He discusses a few of the technologies he works with in the southern high plains of Texas in the world’s largest “cotton patch.”

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  • Fleur Anderson

    Theodore, QLD, Australia

    When it came to the farm, Fleur Anderson learned early in life to focus on the future and not to fear bold commitments. She outlines the sustainable production practices her family now uses to live by those principles.

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  • Steve Wilbur

    Tulare, CA, USA

    Steve Wilbur highlights the changes he’s implemented in the last decade. He describes his adoption of subsurface drip irrigation, as well as how his seed choice affects efficiency.

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  • The Kahl Family

    Wee Waa, NSW, Australia

    With careful land management, the Kahls have surpassed the goal of carbon neutrality – their land sequesters more carbon than it emits.

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  • Donny Lassiter

    Conway, NC, USA

    For Donny Lassiter, farming is both a business and a way of life. He wants cotton buyers and users to understand the care that goes into growing this raw material.

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  • Dr. Stuart Gordon

    Melbourne, Australia

    CSIRO scientist Stuart Gordon works to improve the benchmarking and measurement of key cotton qualities to help Australian growers improve their crop’s performance.

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  • Ramey Stiles

    Lee County, AR, USA

    This fourth-generation cotton grower explains how new equipment and technology have helped him increase irrigation efficiency, reduce costs and improve traceability.

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  • Janelle Montgomery

    Gwydir Valley, NSW, Australia

    Researcher Janelle Montgomery has been at the forefront of improving Australian cotton’s water use efficiency and increasing awareness among growers and consultants.

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  • Nathan Reed

    Lee County, AR, USA

    Third-generation cotton grower Nathan Reed shares how he overcomes challenges and continues his family’s legacy with the help of more efficient, sustainable practices.

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  • Helen and Clive Brownlie

    Pampas, QLD, Australia

    The Brownlies were early adopters of Australia’s myBMP program. Thanks to their willingness to adapt, their farm can continue successfully into the future.

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  • Lucy Vardeman

    Slaton, TX, USA

    For Lucy Vardeman, changes in cotton seed varieties have helped restore a better balance with nature. She can rely less on chemicals and more on beneficial insects.

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  • Ian and Anne Brimblecombe

    St. George, QLD, Australia

    The Brimblecombes see the value of renewable energy, and they’re willing to investigate new technology, such as floating solar panels, on their farm.

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  • Trent and Jason Felton

    Marianna, AR, USA

    This is the sixth generation of Felton stewards on the same land. Learn how evolving management practices have allowed them to be more sustainable and profitable.

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  • Ed Willis

    Thallon, QLD, Australia

    For Ed Willis, cotton production is grounded in data. The results speak for themselves – his farm is a showcase for the Australian cotton industry.

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  • Andrew Watson

    Boggabri, NSW, Australia

    Andrew Watson has seen a difference in pest populations as he improves his farm’s natural habitat.

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  • Andrew Gill

    Narromine, NSW, Australia

    Andrew Gills was seeking better fuel efficiency for water pumps. His solution: a solar diesel hybrid system.

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  • The Palfreyman Family

    Toobeah, QLD, Australia

    The Palfreyman family knows how to enjoy their land – and how to care for it, as they monitor the effects of management decisions on their riparian zones.

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  • John “Cowboy” Cameron

    Bongeen, QLD, Australia

    John Cameron explains his “zero-tolerance” approach to weeds. This approach starts with science – knowing the weeds in a given area.

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  • Yvonne Chang


    Researcher Yvonne Chang is studying one potential answer to the long-standing question of how to address declining carbon in soil.

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  • Steve Carolan and Andrew Greste

    Wee Waa, NSW, Australia

    These cotton growers have converted their irrigation to a fully automated system. After just one season, they started to see the positive results of this change.

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