India set for record cotton production of 25 million bales: USDA

Cotton production in the country is likely to touch 25 million bales (4.25 million tonnes) in the 2010-11 season under normal monsoon, a 6-per cent increase from the 23.5 million bales of the previous season (August-July 2009-10), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has said.

"Assuming normal 2010 monsoon, cotton production in India's marketing year 2010-11 is forecast to increase to a record 25 million bales on expected record planting and improved yields," the USDA report said.

The USDA report is based on a marginal increase in the area under cotton to 10.3 million hectares from 10.26 million hectares.

The area under cotton is expected to be slightly higher in almost all cotton growing states and regions in the country except in Gujarat and Maharashtra, the report said.

"Planting intentions for 2010-11 cotton crop will be favourably influenced by comparatively strong cotton prices and relatively stable yields vis-a-vis other competing crops during the marketing year 2009-10," USDA said.

With more area under Bt cotton, USDA expects productivity also to rise by 6 per cent to around 528 kg per hectare in the next season.

"With the area under Bt cotton and improved varieties now reaching the peak, the prospect for future growth in productivity is limited as most cotton is grown under rainfed conditions and small size of land holdings," the report noted.