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Slow Start to Pakistan Cotton Production Season

12 July 2012
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

PAKISTAN - The USDA forecasts Pakistan's 2012/13 cotton production at 9.7 million bales (480-pound bales), down three per cent from last month and down 8.5 per cent from last year.

Area harvested is estimated at 3 million hectares, down 3.2 per cent from last month, and down 6.3 per cent from last year. Yield is estimated at 704 kilograms per hectare, up 0.3 per cent from last month, but down 2.4 per cent from last year.

Cotton sowing is almost complete in most regions. There has been a slow start to the 2012/13 planting season in part due to delayed and less-than adequate pre-monsoon rainfall. Satellite observations also indicated low water levels in most reservoirs resulting in shortage of irrigation supplies.

The Indus River System Authority reported a 15-per cent water shortage for this year's summer sowing season. In some areas the drier-than normal conditions have also affected early plant growth and development. In Pakistan the monsoon rainfall typically starts in early July and continues through September.

The monsoon season accounts for about 70 per cent of the total annual precipitation. The Pakistan Metrological Department has issued a forecast of a normal monsoon season, which is expected to peak in July. The extent and distribution of monsoon rainfall during the July-September period is critical in determining the production of kharif season crops (cotton, rice, millet, sorghum, corn, and sugarcane).

Approximately 80 per cent of the total Pakistan cotton crop is produced in Punjab province. According to recent local reports, at the end of June planted area was 7 per cent lower than the same period last year. Last season (2011/12) Pakistan witnessed record cotton area due to favorable planting conditions in Punjab and Sindh.

Further Reading

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