Sharp dip in yields may hit Indian cotton production

Indian cotton production is likely to decline this year by 11 percent to 335 lakh bales from 376.6 bales a year earlier due to low acreage and lower yields, Edelweiss Agri Research said in a report.

The report said that acreage under cotton cultivation was down by 7.5 percent as farmers had poor returns during the previous season. It said the overall yields were expected to decline by 3.8 percent, mainly due to a fall in North Indian states, where yields are expected to slip by 35 percent year-on-year.

The decline was due to white foly infection of the crop, the report said. The report indicated there could be a further fall in yields as many fields cannot be harvested due to the severity of the infestation.

It said yields in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh were expected to be higher year-on-year and those in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were expected to be lower by 1.5 percent.

The acreage in Karnataka was lower by 24.3 percent due to reduced sowing in major growing districts and that realisations for farmers who grew cotton on their own lands were high whereas farmers working on rented land incurred losses in Maharashtra and in North India, the report said.

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