April, 8, 2021

2020/21 Cotton Acreage in Mato Grosso Declines 17%

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

Farmers in the state of Mato Grosso ended up planting less cotton in 2020/21 than what was anticipated. The original expectation was that cotton acreage in the state would decline by 12% due to record high domestic corn prices and mediocre cotton prices. Both corn and cotton compete for acreage after the first crop of soybeans are harvested in January and February. In the end, the cotton acreage actually declined by 17% in 2020/21 to 950,000 hectares.

One of the problems this year was the delayed soybean harvest in the state. The soybeans were planted later than normal due to dry weather last September and October. The soybean harvest was delayed even more due to excessive rains when the crop had matured. As a result, many farmers could not plant their cotton in a timely manner.

Mato Grosso is Brazil's largest cotton producing state and farmers in the state would like to plant their cotton by the end of January if possible, but if forced, they could still plant cotton up until February 15. Unfortunately, some farmers could not even plant their cotton by that extended date.

Due to the late planting of the cotton this year, the crop will need good rains at least through May 15th to insure good yields. It remains to be seen if the summer rains will continue until mid-May.

Farmers are being advised to pay close attention to the management of the boll weevil, which is the number one pest of cotton in the state.