Cotton acreage 11.7 mln ha as of 11 august, up 18.3% on year.

Acreage of cotton in the ongoing kharif season is up 18.3% on year at 11.71 mln ha as of 11 August. Acreage was higher than the normal of 10.92 mln ha for the period, based on the average of last five years. Acreage of cotton rise as farmers shifted from soybean due to lucrative prices for the fibre. Near-normal monsoon rains have also aided sowing of cotton across the country. Cotton is typically sown April onwards in Punjab and Haryana due to adequate irrigation facilities but farmers in other producing regions start sowing only after monsoon showers in June. Government has targeted production of 35.50 mln bales (1 bale = 170kg) of cotton in 2017-18 (Jul-Jun), higher than last year’s target of 32.58 mln bales. The total acreage comprises planting of both genetically modified Bt and non-Bt cotton crops in the country.