NT cattle station’s Chinese owner wants to grow cotton

The Chinese owners of a cattle station in the Top End of the Northern Territory hope to one day grow cotton on the property and export cattle to China.

The 57,000 hectare Florina Station, 75 kilometres west of Katherine, was bought by a subsidiary of the Hu family’s YK Group company in September 2016.

The Hu family is a large cotton grower in China’s north-west Xinjiang Province, producing about 100,000 tonnes of cotton a year across its 5,000 hectares of land and nine processing plants.

It runs a small number of cattle — about 500 head — mainly to provide meat for the company’s 1,800 employees.

Youyi Hu said it had been his father’s idea to expand into the Australian cattle industry, choosing the Northern Territory because of its safe investment environment and the close proximity of Darwin Port to China.

The Hu family also received encouragement from the Chinese owners of the NT’s Elizabeth Downs Station and the owners of Kimberley Agricultural Investment, which is developing Ord Stage 2 in the east Kimberley.

Owners spending big to improve cattle herd

Since purchasing Florina Station, the company has set about improving the genetics of its cattle herd with the purchase of 1,000 heifers from Sturt Plains Station last year.

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