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December 21, 2017

Cotton Planting in Brazil starts Slower than Normal

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

Most of the market's attention in Brazil has been directed at the soybean and corn crops, but Brazil is also a significant cotton producer as well and Brazilian farmers are just getting started on planting their 2017/18 cotton crop.

Persistent cloudy and rainy weather in central and northern Brazil over the past two weeks has delayed the initial cotton planting in some of the main cotton producing regions of Mato Grosso. The Mato Grosso Institute of Agricultural Economics (Imea) estimates that farmers in the state will plant 600,000 hectares of cotton. The majority of that cotton will be planted after the first crop of soybeans are harvested. Ideally, farmers in Mato Grosso would like to have their safrinha cotton planted by the end of January.

Farmers in the state also plant some full-season cotton and that is what they are currently planting. Imea estimates that farmers in the state will plant approximately 600,000 hectares of cotton and that 1.5% of the intended cotton has been planted compared to 2.5% last year at this time.

Safrinha cotton competes with safrinha corn for the same hectares in Mato Grosso and some farmers have already decided to cut back on their corn acreage in favor of cotton due to the much better cotton price.

Mato Grosso is the leading cotton producing state in Brazil with the second largest producer being the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil. Cotton planting is now getting underway in western Bahia under good conditions. There has been ample rainfall in Bahia as well as in Maranhao, Piaui, and Tocantins in northeastern Brazil. The early soybean and corn crops in the region are generally rated in good to very good condition.

All across central and northern Brazil the weather has been quite wet since early November. Some farmers have complained about the persistent cloudy weather and lack of sunshine. The wet weather has also made it difficult to apply necessary herbicide, insecticide, and fungicide treatments.