Cotton closes in on last year’s record yields

Cotton nearing last year's highs

Havana Farming co-owner David Phelps, “Myola”, Wee Waa, with some dryland cotton. Photo: Rachael Webb

Havana Farming co-owner David Phelps, “Myola”, Wee Waa, with some dryland cotton. Photo: Rachael Webb


Cotton is looking nearly as good as last year's record breaking crop, but prices have softened in recent weeks.


THIS year’s cotton crops are shaping up to rival last year’s record-breaking yields, despite a few setbacks along the way, says Cotton Australia’s chief executive Adam Kay.

Among the big winners could be those who took a punt on dryland, with Mr Kay pointing to NSW dryland crops shaping up to potentially hit average to above average yields.

Unfortunately though, isolated storm cells had been damaging for some, with significant losses reported from Queensland’s Darling Downs and St George growing regions and parts of NSW.

Last year, the total crop produced 2.2 million bales and expectations this season are for as high as 2.4 million.

“It just depends on the impacts of Phenoxy damage (from spray drift),” Mr Kay said.

As prices ease on the back of softening downstream demand, a lot of growers were fortunate to have locked in their price early.

Auscott cotton marketing manager Arthur Spellson, Sydney, said cotton prices had softened during the past couple of weeks, from $500 to between $470 and $475 a bale.

Mr Spellson said this had a lot to do with the strengthening Australian dollar and softening of futures prices and basis.

As much as 60 per cent of Australia’s cotton crop has gone to China this year, although Mr Spellson said demand had softened there, as well as in other markets.

“Over-riding the lack of quota in China is the poor downstream demand for cotton,” he said.

NSW crops are mostly at cut-out stage.

Pursehouse Rural agronomist Matt Roseby, Gunnedah, said crops at Mullaley, Gunnedah and Carroll were progressing well, but dryland crops needed more rain.

Growers who got under storms could expect above average yields, however, most crops would produce average yields, he said.

B and W Rural agronomist, Peter Birch, Moree, said dryland crops in his region which dodged the hail could yield above average.

Irrigated cotton in the area was also going well, but some fruit shedding had occurred.

Delta Agribusiness agronomist Rodney Krueger, Trangie, said cotton in the Macquarie Valley was expected to yield average to above average.

Irrigators were looking as though they’d make it through the season with water and those dryland crops which received in-crop rain were reasonable.

Elders agronomist Charles Morgan, Coleambally, reported crops in great condition.

His growers were hoping for warm, sunny conditions during the next four to six weeks to finish with average to above average yields.


From the front page

Sponsored by