15/11/2019 – Drastic decrease in cotton production — auf Deutsch lesen
Extreme dryness in Australia
The high decrease in cotton area is due to the decrease in irrigation water availability that was exacerbated by below normal precipitation during the past six months.
USDA forecasts 2019/20 Australia cotton production at 260,000 t, down 44,000 t (14 percent) from last month and down 218,000 t (45 percent) from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 170,000 hectares, down 15 percent from last month, and down 55 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 1,537 kg per hectare, 16 percent below the 5-year average. The 55 percent decrease in cotton area from last year is due to the decrease in irrigation water availability that was exacerbated by below normal precipitation during the past six months.
Dependent on irrigated land
Irrigated cotton yields are substantially higher than dryland yields, and the difference widens in low-rainfall years. On average about 90 percent of Australia’s total cotton comes from irrigated areas. Dryland planting tends to vary with the seasonal weather forecast and prices at sowing. Sorghum and cotton are the two dominant summer crops in eastern Australia. Cotton sowing began in October and harvest begins in April.
Source: USDA, World Agricultural Production October 2019