December 6, 2011

Conditions are Favorable for Cotton Planting in Mato Grosso

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The time is right and the conditions are right for the farmers in Mato Grosso to start planting their 2011/12 cotton crop. Cotton acreage in the state is expected to increase for the third consecutive year to 723,000 hectares. Cotton acreage is up 300,000 hectares in just two years. Cotton is the last crop to be planted in Mato Grosso so the final acreage will depend on the price of cotton verses soybeans. If cotton prices weaken before the end of December, then farmers might opt for less cotton and more soybeans and vice versa. Safrinhacotton also competes with safrinha for the same acreage after the soybeans are harvested, so the price differential between cotton and corn could also influence the eventual safrinhacotton acreage.

One of the significant changes in cotton production in recent years is the amount of cotton planted after the soybeans are harvested. In the municipality of Sorriso for example, which is located in central Mato Grosso, the farmers intend to plant 18,000 hectares of cotton and 80% of which will be safrinhacotton production. They can plant a greater percentage as safrinhathis year because the early onset of the rains allowed for the soybeans to be planted earlier than normal. This will allow for the cotton to be planted in January, but safrinhacotton could be planted as late as the first half of February.

The full-season cotton in Mato Grosso is generally planted during the month of December and then harvested during June. According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), the rainfall regime thus far this growing season has been good for the planting of cotton in December. Nearly all the cotton produced in Mato Grosso is exported to China or India or used in the domestic textile industry in Sao Paulo or northeastern Brazil. Mato Grosso is the largest cotton producing state in Brazil followed by Bahia.