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January 25, 2018

Cotton Planting off to a slow start in Mato Grosso

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

Farmers in Mato Grosso are expected to plant a record large cotton crop in 2017/18, but the planting of that crop is being slowed by adverse weather. According to the Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea), framers in the state have planted 20.2% of their intended cotton acreage compared to last year when 46.6% of the cotton had been planted by this date.

The vast majority of cotton in the state is planted as a second crop following the soybean harvest and the slow cotton planting pace is the result of delayed soybean planting last September and October and a delayed soybean harvest caused by heavy rains earlier this month.

Imea is estimating that farmers in the state will plant 725,500 hectares of cotton, which is 15.8% more than the 626,500 hectares planted last year. Imea is estimating the cotton production will increase 9.5% to 1.15 million tons. The increase in safrinha cotton acreage is coming at the expense of safrinha corn acreage. Cotton prices are higher as compared to corn, so as a result, some farmers are reducing their safrinha corn acreage in favor of more cotton.

The President of the Cotton Producers Association of Mato Grosso (Ampa) feels that even though planting has gotten off to a slow start, there is still time to get the majority of the cotton planted within the acceptable planting window, which generally closes at the end of January.

Recent weather in Mato Grosso has turned a little dryer, but the long range forecast is calling for more intense rainfall at the end of January and into early February.