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March 18, 2011

Cotton and Rice Production in Mato Grosso Benefiting From Rains

In direct contrast to the soybeans and the safrinha corn crops that have been harmed by the persistent wet weather, the cotton and rice crops in Mato Grosso have actually been helped by the wet weather.

Farmers in the state took advantage of the very strong cotton prices to increase their 2010/11 cotton acreage by 56%. During the current growing season, the cotton acreage in the state is expected to increase to 670,000 hectares compared to 428,000 hectares planted in 2009/10. Most of the increased acreage was for the full season cotton, but the safrinha cotton acreage increased significantly as well. The safrinha cotton acreage probably would have increased even more, but wet weather prevented some of the safrinha cotton from being planted before the planting window closed in early February. The majority of the full season cotton was planted during the month of December.

The cotton crop in the state is still in vegetative development and according to the Association of Cotton Producers in Mato Grosso (Ampa); the total cotton production in the state is expected to hit 994,000 tons which is a 70% increase over the 583,000 tons produced in 2009/10. In addition to good yields, the cotton producers are also expecting to sell their 2010/11 cotton crop for very good prices.

The other crop expected to benefit from the wet weather is the non-irrigated rice production. The non-irrigated rice acreage in the state has been falling in recent years due to low prices and increased interest in other more lucrative crops such as soybeans, corn and cotton. The 2010/11 rice acreage in the state is estimated at 223,000 hectares which is down 9.5% compared to the 247,000 hectares planted in 2009/10.

Mato Grosso is a small rice producing state (5% of Brazil's total rice crop) compared to the state of Rio Grande do Sul which produces approximately 64% of Brazil's total rice crop. The rice produced in Mato Grosso is non-irrigated, but the rice produced in Rio Grande do Sul is virtually 100% irrigated.