The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasts India's cotton production for 2019/20 at 29.5 million 480-pound bales, up nearly 2 percent from last month and up 11 percent from the previous year.
The increase is based on improved weather conditions in the major cotton areas of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Harvested area is estimated at 12.7 million hectares, up slightly from last month and last year. Yield is forecast at 506 kilograms per hectare, up 10 percent from last year. Yield is expected to bounce back from last year’s drought, the report said.
Although the Southwest Monsoon was underperforming early in the season, it resumed and progressed in late July to the major cotton areas in central India: Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Currently, the crop is in the critical flowering stage in central India. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) analysis shows strong crop vigor in both Gujarat and Maharashtra, USDA said.
USDA’s Mumbai Agricultural office personnel traveled to Gujarat the first week of September. They reported that conditions were good to excellent in Gujarat.
According to the All India Crop Situation report from September 5, planting progress is up 6 percent from last year and up 8 percent from the 5-year average. This 6 percent increase is due to the Southwest monsoon resuming in the cotton producing areas along with higher domestic prices. Planting is complete in the major central cotton areas, but only beginning in the southern region. The northern states will begin harvesting at the end of September.