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Favourable cotton prices to boost production, ABARES forecast
14
Sep '11
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences forecasts the cotton production.

Australian cotton production to increase by 23 per cent in 2011–12 to a record 1.1 million tonnes. The forecast increase is in response to favourable cotton prices and prospects of better return to relative to alternative crops, abundant supplies of irrigation water and reasonably favourable soil moisture profiles in most of the summer cropping regions of New South Wales and Queensland.

Total summer crop area is forecast to remain largely unchanged in 2011–12 at around 1.5 million hectares. Below average winter rainfall in key growing regions of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland coupled with high cotton prices are forecast to result in a decrease in the area planted to grain sorghum. However, an increase in the availability of irrigation water is forecast to result in an increase in the area planted to cotton and rice. Total summer crop production is forecast to increase by 2 per cent to around 4.8 million tonnes.

Australian cotton production is forecast to reach a record 1.1 million tonnes in 2011–12, compared with the flood-affected harvest of around 900 000 tonnes of last year. Record production is expected in New South Wales and Queensland. The forecast reflects the combined effects of a 7 per cent increase in irrigated plantings and a 11 per cent fall in dryland plantings. The planting window for the genetically modified cotton varieties that make up almost all of Australia's cotton plantings is from September through to late November 2011.

Cotton production in New South Wales is forecast to increase by around 25 per cent in 2011–12 to a record 709 400 tonnes of cotton lint and just over 1 million tonnes of cottonseed. Irrigated cotton area is forecast to increase by 15 per cent to 284 700 hectares while dryland cotton area is forecast to decrease by 27 per cent to 73 400 hectares.

Cotton production in Queensland is forecast to increase by around 32 per cent in 2011–12 to a record 433 100 tonnes of cotton lint and 612 500 tonnes of cottonseed. The irrigated cotton area is forecast to increase by 4 per cent to 163 480 hectares while the dryland cotton area is forecast to decrease by 8 per cent to 77 700 hectares. As at 1 September 2011, all irrigation dams serving Queensland cotton producing regions were over 90 per cent of capacity.

Commercial cotton production has recommenced in Western Australia's Ord River Irrigation Area, after a gap of nearly 30 years. Cotton production in this area is forecast to reach 1270 tonnes of cotton lint and 1800 tonnes of cottonseed, based on plantings of 800 hectares of irrigated cotton.

ABARES is a research bureau within the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. ABARES was formed following the merger of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) and the Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS) in 2010.

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)

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