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September 9, 2015

Cotton Acreage in Mato Grosso to Increase 2%

At a recent cotton conference held in Brazil, the president of the Mato Grosso Cotton Producers Association (Ampa), Gustavo Piccoli, indicated that farmers in Mato Grosso are expected to increase their 2015/16 cotton acreage by 2%, while at the same time the cotton acreage in other Brazilian states might decline slightly. The reason for the optimism in Mato Grosso are the improved prices thanks to the weaker Brazilian currency and good results obtained by cotton farmers over the past two years.

The weather in Mato Grosso for the last two years has been very beneficial for cotton production, especially for the second crop of cotton which is planted after the soybeans are harvested. In 2014 and 2015, the summer rains extended into the months of May and June when normally the rains end in April or May.

The safrinha cotton crop in Mato Grosso now accounts for approximately 76% of the total cotton acreage in the state estimated at 576,000 hectares. The safrinha cotton is generally planted in January or early February and harvested in August or early September. For the last two growing seasons, the cotton yields in the state have averaged 1,550 kg/ha which is very high for non-irrigated cotton production. Cotton producers in the state have also made progress in controlling various insects, diseases, and nematodes which has added to the good yields.

Piccoli stated that if only 10% of the soybeans in the state were followed by a second crop of cotton, the cotton acreage in the state would then be equal to all of Brazil. Safrinha cotton must compete with safrinha corn for acreage following soybeans. It is estimated that farmers in Mato Grosso will plant slightly more than 9 million hectares of soybeans in 2015/16.

The Mato Grosso Institue of Agricultural Economics (Imea) is estimating that the state's cotton acreage will increase 2% from the 564,000 hectares planted in 2014/15 to 576,000 hectares in 2015/16. Mato Grosso is responsible for approximately 58% of the cotton produced in Brazil. The second leading cotton producing state in Bahia followed by Goias.