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Cotton Seasonal Outlook.

With cotton planting for the 2013/14 season crop completed, growers are hopeful of a good season ahead of them.

Many growers in the Central Queensland region took advantage of an earlier planting window, which started on September 8. The planting window was brought forward a week after concerns from growers that yield was being lost due to the cloudy conditions, typically experienced in late December and January. Bringing the planting window forward a week, provided the crop more time to put on and retain fruit, leading up to this typically wet period.

Water availability is good in most valleys. The Macquarie valley is of most concern. November rainfall has helped some crops however more rain will be needed in the New Year. Water use during “watering up” in Northern NSW was high due to the dry conditions over winter; however supplies remain at good levels for this season.

Seedling disease levels have been high and crop growth slowed due to cool night time temperatures.

Storms in late November and early December have caused hail damage to some crops in the Gwydir Valley and Southern NSW.

The 2013/14 Australian cotton crop is expected to be around 434,000 hectares, down 2% on last year.

The area planted to Dryland cotton for the 2013/14 season is likely to be lower than last year, as many of the cotton growing areas experienced dry conditions throughout winter and spring.