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2012/13 Cotton Production Forecast at 4.6 Million Bales

05 April 2012
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

AUSTRALIA - Cotton production for 2012/13 is forecast at 4.6 million bales, equivalent to this year’s estimated record crop, according to the latest USDA Australia Cotton and Products Annual report.

An expected decline in planted area (specifically dry-land cotton area) is expected to be offset by an improvement in yield. Normal weather conditions are assumed in the lead up to planting the 2012/13 crop which is expected to commence in October/November 2012.

At the time of the writing of this report, irrigation water storages are at, or near, full capacity. This is expected to see area planted to irrigated cotton increase somewhat. However, area planted to dry-land cotton is expected to decline from the record levels evidenced in the previous year, to levels more reflective of the longer-term average.

Post’s production estimate for the 2011/12 crop has been revised downwards from a previous estimate of 4.84 million bales to 4.6 million bales. Heavy rainfall and widespread flooding trimmed yield and slightly reduced planted area.

This decline, however, is expected to be partially offset by exceptional dry-land cotton yields, which in the most extreme cases surpassed the yields of irrigated crops. Harvest of the 2011/12 crop will begin in earnest starting in April and run through June 2012.

Dry-land cotton production has traditionally only made a minor contribution to overall Australian cotton production. However, high prices and exceptional soil moisture at time of planting, is believed to have pushed planted area of dry-land cotton to record high levels in 2011/12.

At the time of the writing of this report, soil moisture levels are excellent and if average weather conditions prevail in the lead-up to the planting of the 2012/13 crop, planting conditions should remain above average, despite falling below the excellent planting conditions experienced in 2011/12.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

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