The crop estimates of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revised the cotton production forecast to 29.8 million 480 lb. bales (38.16 million 170 kg. bales/6.5 mmt) , down 0.20 million bales on acreage of 12.3 million hectares. The FAS Mumbai forecast is 200,000 480 lb. bales lower than USDA official estimate. The recent untimely rains and pest infestation issues in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh suggest lowering production. The all India yield is expected to be around 528 kg per hectare.USDA travel to northern Telangana in late November indicates farmers are now harvesting the second picking. With first pickings over, farmers are not rushing to the market to deliver seed cotton due to low market prices. Seed cotton prices in the wholesale market yards in Telangana are staying close to minimum support price (MSP) rates. However, much of the cotton is discounted due to poor quality issues like discoloration and high moisture content.
Trade sources indicate a high incidence of pink bollworm and sucking pests for the first picking in certain districts in Telangana. There seem to be limited issues with quality in the standing crop ready for New Delhi Cotton the second picking. In Andhra Pradesh, the government has issued advisories to install pheromone traps to monitor the incidence of pink bollworm along with the spraying of insecticides. A similar advisory was issued in northern Telangana. There are a number of stated reasons for the higher incidences of pink bollworm infestations. These range from resistance of bollworm to Bt toxins, use of spurious and/or unapproved seeds by farmers, limited or poor planting of refugia non-Bt cotton, cultivation of longduration hybrids which provides continuous food for the pest, poor integrated pest management practices, and storage of damaged cotton at gins and market yards.
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