19 November 1999
Indian cotton forecasts up

UNEXPECTED productivity gains have pushed up forecasts for the Indian cotton crop to 17,205 million 170kg bales in the 1999-2000 season.

This is up 388,000 on the September estimate, and compares with 16.375m bales last year.

Observers put the increase down to decreases in insect and disease attack.

Farmers have also benefited by opting for early sowing of recommended varieties of cotton, largely using certified seeds supplied by state agencies.