Cotton is a natural fiber, which ensures comfort and softness in the fabric used by people. SLC Agrícola have been cultivating cotton in the Brazilian Cerrado since 1998, and therefore have high productivity and a good quality product. Over the past five years the productivity of SLC Agrícola has been higher than the national average of 11.1%, as well as competitor countries such as USA, China and India. We represent 8% of the planted area in Brazil and 12% of the total exported cotton.
How we produce the cotton that clothes the world
Learn more about our production model
Agricultural planning is one of the differentials of SLC Agrícola. At this stage we adapted to the best agronomic production practices to cater to the need for quality required by our customers. This is the moment that we select the supplies, such as seeds, fertilizers and pesticides and plan the ideal rotation of crops for each plantation. The data generated in our research areas help define the best times for planting and agricultural operations that will ensure excellence in cotton production for SLC Agrícola.
Preparation, planting and management
Cotton is grown in fertile soil and requires favorable conditions for its development. The soil preparation and fertilization is carried out according to the crop needs. Planting is done with high-tech and efficient machines at the appropriate time for each growing region. All management strategies carried out in cotton are guided by good agronomic practices such as Integrated Pest and Disease Monitoring (MIP/MID), aimed at the rational use of supplies, ensuring sustainability to the production system.
Harvesting is carried out by trained operators and machines with high technology and operational efficiency. The harvesters are equipped with sensors that record georeferenced productivity data, allowing to visualize the crop production on crop maps. All harvested bales are properly identified in the fields and allow for the traceability of information according to its quality.
Processing and storage
The processing and storage of cotton is done in the most modern agro-industrial production system and carried out by highly trained employees, always working towards security, product quality and process efficiency.
How does it get to you
The cotton cycle is one of the longest among the crops, taking an average of 200 days or six months from planting to harvesting. The cotton produced by SLC Agrícola is processed in cotton mills (or agro industrial units or cotton gins) installed at the headquarters of the farms, where it is classified and stored according to the visual and laboratory (HVI) fiber quality analysis, indicating the main features required by the spinning, such as length and uniformity (UHM), strength (STR), micronaire (fineness/maturity), short fiber index (SFC), among others. The bales are transported to spinning mills, in the external and internal market, which is transformed into yarn, from which the fabrics that are used in clothing, sheets, towels and other products with cotton are made.
Global cotton area
Cotton is grown in many countries around the world, being an agricultural product of high economic and social importance, especially in developing countries. According to entities in sectors related to the production, logistics, ginning, processing and packaging, this involves more than 350 million people around the globe.
Cotton prices in the international market
The second quarter of 2020 registered a recovery in international cotton prices. The economic uncertainties created by the pandemic, which severely affected markets in general, led to reductions of over 20% in cotton prices in USD.
The drop-in prices reflected the lower cotton demand from textile chain agents, which adopted a more conservative approach due to the difficulty with projecting product demand in a context of physical distancing, as well as when and to what extent things may return to normal. The price reduction effectively consolidated and increased the expectation of a surplus in the balance between production and consumption in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 crop years.
We concluded the planting of 74,099 hectares of first-crop cotton, representing an expansion in planted area of 1.9% from the previous crop year and 16.5% of the company’s total planted area. All areas are in the flowering phase and presenting high production potential. The planting of 51,371 hectares of second-crop cotton began after the harvest of early soybean varietals in the first half of January 2019, which also was concluded. The crop is in full vegetative development and presents high production potential.
- 74,099 ha (cotton 1st crop)
- 51,371 ha (cotton 2nd crop)