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September 27, 2016

After Poor 2015/16, Cotton Acreage in Bahia to Decline another 18%

Bahia is the second largest cotton producing state in Brazil after Mato Grosso and cotton farmers in western Bahia suffered significant losses in their 2015/16 cotton crop due to the hot and dry conditions that prevailed during most of the 2015/16 growing season. The cotton acreage in Bahia declined 16% in 2015/16 and the total cotton production declined 43%.

Mato Grosso is the largest cotton producing state in Brazil and the cotton production in the state declined 4% in 2015/16, also due to hot and dry conditions. Conab is estimating that Brazil's total cotton production in 2015/16 declined 17% to 3.2 million tons.

Farmers in Bahia are expected to reduce their cotton acreage in 2016/17 in favor of more corn acreage. That is the assessment of the Technical Commission of the Association of Irrigators in Bahia (Aiba), which was released last Monday. They estimate that the cotton acreage in western Bahia will be 192,000 hectares in 2016/17, or down 18% from the 227,000 hectares planted in 2015/16. Aiba is composed of producer associations, multinational grain companies, financial institutions, and government agencies.

Most of the reduced cotton acreage will be switched into increased corn acreage. The 2016/17 corn acreage in Bahia is expected to increase to 180,000 hectares or up 30% compared to last year. The soybean acreage in Bahia is expected to hold steady at 1.5 million hectares or maybe increase slightly to 1.6 million hectares. The 2015/16 soybean crop in Bahia was also severely impacted by the adverse conditions and Aiba is expecting a rebound in soybean yields to 56 sacks per hectare (48.7 bu/ac). The 2015/16 statewide soybean yield was 35.0 sacks per hectare (30.5 bu/ac).