Above: Daniel Kahl in his corn field at ‘Glencoe’.

Farmers and business operators in the north west have slammed South Australian political party Centre Alliance’s call to impose a ban on the export of cotton.

SA Senator Rex Patrick plans to introduce the legislation during the current parliamentary session.

“They need to understand they’re not just punishing farmers,” said Wee Waa mechanic Matt Carrett.

“I think that it proves quite clearly that the politicians are using it as an opportunity to gain political points and have no understanding of the issue,” said irrigator Daniel Kahl.

“To single out one crop displays a complete disregard for the legislation and regulation around water and its use, and to suggest that banning one crop would make any difference is laughable. We’d simply grow the next best crop,” said Mr Kahl who also produces irrigated corn, wheat and beans at his family’s farm ‘Glencoe’ when water is available.

Senator Patrick said the bill would prohibit the export of cotton grown in Australia.

“We are quite literally sucking the life blood out of the Murray-Darling river system at the expense of downstream food producers, the towns and cities dependent on our rivers for water supply, and the overall environmental health of the river system all the way to the Coorong lagoon in South Australia,” said Senator Patrick.

Mr Kahl said banning cotton wouldn’t change the fact irrigators have a legislated right to access allocated amounts of water.