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January 21, 2015

Cotton Planting in Mato Grosso reaches 50% Complete

Cotton in Mato Grosso is planted as two separate crops. The full-season cotton is planted starting on December 1st and ending in early January. The second crop of cotton, or what is called the safrinha crop, is planted starting in January as soon as the early-maturing soybeans are harvested. In recent years, farmers in the state have been planting more of their crop as safrinha production and less as full-season production.

As of the end of last week, farmers in Mato Grosso had planted 50% of their anticipated 568,000 hectares of soybeans, which is 13% slower than last year's planting pace. Mato Grosso is the largest cotton producing state in Brazil and 72% of the cotton in 2014/15 will be planted as a second crop following soybeans and 28% will be planted as full-season cotton. The full-season cotton crop in the state has all been planted and farmers are now planting the safrinha cotton as they harvest their early-maturing soybeans.

The weather in Mato Grosso during January has been dryer than normal which has resulted in a few farmers reporting below normal germination for their cotton. Generally, the soil moisture across the state is in the range of 60% to 80% of capacity and as long as the soil moisture remains above 50% of capacity, the early cotton crop should get off to an OK start.

Conab is estimating that the 2014/15 cotton acreage in Brazil will be 995,700 hectares compared to the 1.12 million hectares planted in 2013/14. The 2014/15 Brazilian cotton crop is estimated at 4 million tons or 11% less than last year.