Cotton

Cotton is a natural fiber, which ensures softness and comfort in the fabric used by people. SLC Agrícola has been growing cotton in the Brazilian Cerrado [savannah] since 1998, providing its product with high productivity and quality. Between 2018 and 2020, the productivity of SLC Agrícola was 2.4% higher than the national average and also higher than that of competing countries, such as the USA, China and India. We represent approximately 7% of the planted area of Brazil (USDA crop 19/20) and 11% of the total cotton exported (USDA crop 19/20).

Watch our cotton crop on Planalto Farm

How we produce the cotton that dresses the world

Learn about our production model

Agricultural Planning

Agricultural planning is one of SLC Agrícola´s advantages. At this stage, we adapt the quality need demanded by our customers to the best agronomic production practices. It is at this time that we select the inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, and plan the ideal crop rotation for each crop. The data generated in our research areas assist in defining the best sowing seasons and the agricultural operations that will ensure SLC Agrícola excellence in cotton production.

Preparation, sowing and management

Cotton is grown in fertile soils and requires favorable conditions for its development. Soil is prepared and fertilzied according to the needs of the crop. The sowing is carried out with machines with high technology and efficiency in the appropriate period for each growing region. All management carried out in cotton is guided by good agronomic practices, such as Integrated Pest and Disease Monitoring (IPM/MID), which aim at the rational use of inputs, ensuring sustainability to the production system.

Harvest

The harvest is carried out by trained operators and machines with high technology and operational yield. The harvesters are equipped with sensors that record georeferenced productivity data, allowing the crop production to be visualized on harvest maps. All bales harvested are properly identified in the crop and allow traceability of the information according to its quality.

Processing and storage

The cotton processing and storage process is carried out within the most modern agro-industrial production system carried out by highly qualified collaborators, always aiming at safety, product quality and process efficiency.

How we get to you

The cotton cycle is one of the longest among agricultural 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 agroindustrial units or cotton gins) installed in the headquarters of the Farms, where it is classified and stored according to visual and laboratory fiber quality (HVI) analyses, indicating the main characteristics required by spinning, such as length and uniformity (UHM), resistance (Str), micronaire (fineness/maturity) and short fiber content (SFC), among others. The bales are transported to the spinning gins, in the foreign and domestic markets, where they are transformed into yarns, which give rise to the fabrics we use in clothes, sheets, towels and other cotton products.

Certified cotton

Global cotton area

Cotton is grown in many countries around the world and is an agricultural product of high economic and social importance mainly in developing countries. According to the entities related to the sector, production, logistics, ginning, processing and packaging involve over 350 million people around the globe.

Cotton prices in the international market

The fourth quarter of 2021 was marked by the continuation and consistency of the upward trend in cotton prices in international and Brazilian markets. Expectation of the increase in world cotton consumption outripping production growth for the second straight year,  according to USDA estimates, has been an important factor sustaining prices.

Cotton Export

Brazilian cotton exports decreased slightly compared to prior quarters, but with shipment volume still above the historical average for the period, enabling the country to maintain its position as the world’s second largest cotton exporter.

Global Cotton Consumption

The expected growth in global cotton consumption to 124.1 million bales, according to the USDA forecasts, the highest level of the data series, has been contributing to the global supply-demand balance ending the current cycle with a deficit for the second straight year, of around 3.9 million bales, according to the USDA.

2021/22 Crop

Cotton Seed

We estimate the production of 90,000 bags of cotton seed, with an average quality indicator of 90% official
germination (SLC Seeds Guarantee). We currently hold licenses for three cotton seed brands in order to offer our clients a diversified product portfolio. The final production figure will be disclosed in the third quarter, after proper assessment of the quality indicators.

First-Crop Cotton
The areas are currently in the flowering and cotton-boll development stage. In this crop year, we experienced
water stress in March in the state of Bahia. Due to the weather, we have revised our yield estimate to 1,807 kg/ha, 3.4% below budget.

Second-Crop Cotton
The crop is currently in the flowering stage. In Mato Grosso, precipitation was below the historical average in
March and April. Therefore, we have revised our yield estimate to 1,642 kg/ha, 9.0% below
the initial budget

  • 86,326 ha (cotton 1st crop)
  • 90,630 ha (cotton 2nd crop)