The Australian cotton industry is still expecting a large cotton crop despite the persistent rain in much of New South Wales and Queensland impacting on already sodden paddocks, and in some cases, delaying picking and planting, Cotton Australia has said.
Only two years after severe drought, cotton farmers celebrated good water availability resulting in a record crop of 5.5 million bales last season, however the rain has persisted providing a headache for some farmers.
Late last week NSW emergency services reported every inland river catchment was either full or flooded from the QLD border to the VIC border with 99 active warnings and nine major flood warnings in place, Cotton Australia said in a press release.
Speaking to the media, Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay, said that his thoughts were with all the farmers who have suffered loss and damage due to the floods.
“We are hearing reports of major infrastructure damage following inundation and we are keeping government stakeholders informed.”
There is major flooding in some cotton farming regions including Narrabri and Moree but at this stage the major damage appears to be to winter crops like wheat and barley.
“The northern half of NSW has a wider planting window and that means growers have till the later half of November to get their crops in and maintain a healthy yield for the coming season. We are confident they will achieve that if the rain holds off long enough to get out on their fields and get their crops in the ground,” Kay added.
It is a different story unfortunately from the Macquarie Valley south to the Victorian border with the planting window closing earlier and data showing yields decrease the later crops are planted in the region.
“Overall, at this stage we expect around a 10% reduction on our crop forecasts for 2023, and with about a third of that crop forward sold, we expect strong ongoing global demand for our cotton. We can sell every bale we get so we hope conditions improve quickly,” said Kay.