LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New strategic and scientific developments in the planting and production of cotton are setting the stage for big advancements in the global cotton industry, making cotton plants more resilient against the risk of pests and infections, and increasing yields. Details about these innovations are some of this week’s top stories on BizVibe.
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World Cotton Production Set to Bounce Back
After a significant drop in global cotton production in the financial year of 2015-16, the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) forecasts that world cotton output will rise by 2% to 23.4 million tonnes for the upcoming year.
In India, cotton area is expected to recover by 7% in 2017-18, cotton production in the United States is projected to rise by 7%, while China’s cotton area may expand by 3% in the same period. The growth of cotton in the major markets is a positive sign for the industry after two years on contraction.
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Ban on early cotton cultivation lifted in Pakistan
A temporary ban prohibiting cotton cultivation in Pakistan’s Punjab province has been lifted, signalling the beginning of the safe planting season. The ban was initially put in place to prevent the spread of the pink bollworm moth, a pest that eats and lays eggs in cotton plants. The pink bollworm has historically been very damaging to cotton yields and production in this area, and are most prosperous before mid-April, meaning that cotton crops sown before the middle of the month are at an especially increased risk for infestation.
Pakistan’s government is also trying to increase their production by obtaining two more advanced varieties of genetically-modified cotton seeds from Monsanto. These varieties are expected to have increased pest-resistance properties, which will increase yields and will reduce the need for cultivation bands and pesticide use.
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Bollgard 3 set to increase Australia’s cotton production
The increasing adoption of Monsanto’s Bollgard 3 cotton variety in Australia is increasing cotton yields and cotton production. The plants are currently undergoing trials in the Kimberley Ord Irrigation Scheme to test their performance during the wet season and their resilience against pervasive wet season pests, such as the cotton leafworm. Bollgard 3 plants grow at a similar rate to Bollgard 2 plants, but possess an increased resistance to insects and do not have a planting window, making them versatile and suitable for weather patterns throughout the year.
Australia’s cotton industry produced 2,742,700 bales of cotton in 2015/16, and the use of Bollgard 3 plants and other genetically-modified varieties is expected to drastically increase production as plants become more resistant to insects and other crop threats. The country has long been a reliable producer of high-quality cotton, including rain-grown cotton.
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