Australia Cotton: Production forecast revised upward Down Under

Australia Cotton: Production forecast revised upward Down Under

USDA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture  forecasts Australia’s 2016/17  cotton  crop  at  4.5  million  bales,  up 0.5  million or 13 % from last month, and up 1.9 million bales or 73 % from last year.  Harvested area is forecast at 525000 hectares, up 50000 hectares or 11 % from last month, and up 213000 or 68 % from last year.

Yield is forecast at 1866 kg per hectare.  The increase in area is driven by an increase in both irrigated and dryland cotton plantings. This will be the first time in three years that a significant area has been planted to dryland cotton.

AUS cotton

Dryland  cotton  area  tends  to  vary  with  the  seasonal  weather  conditions  and  prices  at sowing. This  season’s  above-average  rainfall  has  increased  water  storage  for  irrigated  cotton  and provided  adequate  soil  moisture  in  dryland  cotton  areas.  Also, higher cotton prices relative to sorghum have encouraged a shift from sorghum area to cotton. Irrigated cotton area is forecast to increase,  reflecting  higher  reservoir  levels  supplying  cotton  growing  regions  compared  to  last season. Irrigated cotton areas produce on average about 90 percent of Australia’s total cotton production. Irrigated cotton yields are substantially higher than dryland yields and the difference widens in low rainfall years.

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