Lines in the Cotton Fields, Biloela, Q.

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (13)

bdeh on January 6, 2013

I didn't know that there're cotton farms Ian. Greetings Berend

Nick Weall on January 6, 2013

Nice lines and you are creeping up towards Mackay ~ quite a few farm buildings in the background ~ wonder what they all hold? All the best ~ nick

Ian Stehbens on January 7, 2013

Dear Berend,

In your travels in Australia, and with your wide awareness, I am surprised this is new knowledge. Yes there is a fair sized cotton industry in Australia, mostly dependent on irrigation though there are dryland farms as well.

Last year Australia produced around 5 million bales making it 6th biggest producer in the world, after China, India, US, Pakistan, and Brazil.. and on a par with Uzbekistan.

Australia is the 4th largest exporter of cotton after US, India and Brazil.

Our major customers are Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, China and Italy.

Because you have travelled in Australia, perhaps knowing where the cotton producing districts are might be useful to you. The biggest producer is the Gwydir Valley (Moree) followed by the Namoi Valley (Narrabri), Balonne Region (St George), McIntyre Valley (Goondiwindi).

Other significant areas include Macquarie Valley and Murrumbidgee Valley in NSW and Darling Downs, Emerald and the Callide Valley (Biloela) pictured above.

Hope this fills out the picture a bit.

I'll take you to a cotton farm - when you come.

Warm regards,


bdeh on January 7, 2013

I didn't know because we haven't been in the areas you mentioned Ian. So we didn't heard about the cotton industry from the guide in 2003 and I didn't looked it up for our trip in 2006/07. Now I know, but there must be more things about Oz that I have no knowledge of. But I'm not too old to learn. Thanks, greetings Berend

Ian Stehbens on January 7, 2013

Hello Nick,

The large buildings in the background appear to me to be used by either a tracking company or engineering works, though I really do not know. I may be able to find out for you (and me), though.

I am not sure whether you are familiar with the modern cotton industry to recognize the two large blocks with a blue top at the end of the field. They are modules of harvested cotton covered with a blue tarpaulin. Each module weighs about 10 tonnes and is about 10m long x 4M x 3M. AS the cotton is harvested, it is transferred to a module builder which compacts the cotton into modules. A module is then picked up by a straddle carrier that places it on an articulated truck for transport to the cotton ginnery in Moura.

It is quite a drive from here to Mackay, but as you say it is in this direction. Remind me of your interest in Mackay?

Greetings from southern Queensland,


Nick Weall on January 7, 2013

Thanks for the detailed explanation Ian ~ I knew that the cotton industry would be fully mechanised by now, but did not appreciate the detail ~ Thanks. My Cousin Darb lives in the bush 30 clicks inland of Mackay or so ~ All the best ~ nick

Ian Stehbens on January 7, 2013

Hi Nick, I am back, with an answer.

I understand that the buildings in the background belong to the government Agricultural Research Station and are used not only to store and maintain their agricultural equipment but also to do any mechanical engineering that is required on the farm.

It is good to learn something new.

And as for cousins, a cousin of my Dad's worked here on the agricultural research station for quite a number of years and many of his descendants live in and around Biloela today. He knew these sheds well.



Nick Weall on January 8, 2013

Thank you so much for taking the trouble to investigate further Ian ~ I appreciate it :~) Fancy having a relative that worked here too :~) All the best ~ nick

Tewbacka on January 13, 2013

Hi Ian, Happy New Year to you and your family. Love the way the farrow lines disappear into the distance. Nicely composed. Like Hi from Hobart cheers Gary

Ian Stehbens on January 22, 2013

Happy New Year, Gary, belatedly. My daughter lives at St George in the cotton district there, and I am more used to vast cotton-fields where the farrow-lines converge somewhere near the horizon!

Kind regards,


Cottonfarmer on November 13, 2013

OMG!!!!! I just realised that's my farm!!!!!!!!

Cottonfarmer on November 13, 2013

And by the way my farm is not the research station.... that in the background guys is the old Biloela cotton ginery. Its now called 100% training and some of those sheds are another farm

Peacebuilders Intern… on November 14, 2013

Thanks Cotton Farmer for corrected information... and I am pleased to show your farm on Google earth. I hope I have geo-located my photo point very accurately - if not please suggest correct location.


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on January 5, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens