IN 1996 it took on average 1.43 megalitres to produce one bale of cotton, fast forward 25 years and it takes almost half that much.
That is according to recent government and non-government studies, which show the industry as a whole has put a conscious effort into reducing water usage in recent years.
By 2024 it is expected to take just .71 megalitres per bale, although some farmers like Gunnedah's Scott Morgan already beat that effort routinely.
The 'Bruan Park' and 'Kensal Green' owner said he has made a number of changes over recent years as weather conditions worsened.
"With my experience over the years I've come to realise the great benefits of good ground cover," he said.
"With the prolonged droughts and extreme weather conditions that we have been experiencing, it's more important than ever to conserve as much moisture in the field as we can."
In recent times he has made some major alterations at his farm, including switching from furrow to overhead irrigation about 10 years ago.
Overhead irrigation Overhead irrigation combined with good ground cover sees virtually no runoff in the event of downpours, he said, which means more seeps into the subsoil, ultimately leading to stronger yields.
He also begun focusing on groundcover crops, which allows him to capture and retain moisture prior to even planting.
"What I like to focus on is how to get good groundcover well before the crop goes in the ground," he said.
"So that'll start from the previous winter crop which is usually irrigated and that gives me the benefit of having a lot of groundcover residue from that crop.
"So 10 months before I even plant, that's when my water conservation starts really."
Making sure whatever rainfall occurs, which he said has thankfully been quite a lot over the past couple of seasons, stays in the field is also something he believes the industry has gotten better at.
Environmentally friendly farming is also smart farming according to Mr Morgan, who said he is even looking to become carbon neutral in the not too distant future.
His water pumping is already carbon neutral for 10 hours per day due to his significant solar set up.
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