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Cotton seed & lint production projected to double in 2008-09
09
Dec '08
The total area planted to summer crops in 2008-09 is forecast to remain similar to the area planted in the previous year. Despite an improvement in water storage levels, availability of irrigation water remains a critical issue for cotton and rice production.

The area planted to cotton in 2008-09 is forecast to more than double to around 153,500 hectares, reflecting an improvement in water availability, particularly in Queensland. Australian cottonseed and cotton lint production in 2008-09 are forecast to be 398,000 tonnes and 281,500 tonnes respectively, more than double the severely drought affected harvest of 2007-08.

The area planted to cotton in 2008-09 is forecast to more than double to around 153,500 hectares, reflecting an improvement in water availability, particularly in Queensland. Around 126,200 hectares of the area planted to cotton is forecast to be irrigated, with the remaining area dryland cotton. Australian cottonseed and cotton lint production in 2008-09 are forecast to be 398,000 tonnes and 281,500 tonnes, respectively, more than double the severely drought affected harvest of 2007-08.

The area planted to cotton in New South Wales in 2008-09 is forecast to rise by 83 per cent to 75,600 hectares, reflecting an increase in the availability of irrigation water. The bulk of New South Wales cotton plantings are irrigated, but good soil moisture levels have enabled dryland cotton plantings of around 15,600 hectares, equivalent to 20 per cent of total cotton plantings. Assuming average yields, New South Wales is forecast to produce to 145,000 tonnes of cotton lint and 205,000 tonnes of cottonseed in 2008-09.

Most cotton producing regions of Queensland are likely to be favoured by improved supplies of irrigation water in 2008-09, compared with the 2007-08 season. This is particularly the case in the Emerald region of central Queensland, where the Fairbairn dam is currently 80 percent full. The area planted to cotton in Queensland is forecast to more than triple to 77,900 hectares. This forecast consists of 66,300 hectares of irrigated cotton and 11,600 hectares of dryland cotton.

Despite the increase in area, cotton plantings in Queensland in 2008-09 are only around 40 per cent of the record 199,000 hectares sown in 2000-01. Queensland is forecast to produce 136,000 tonnes of cotton lint and 193,000 tonnes of cottonseed in 2008-09.

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics

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