Brazilian cotton


In just over 20 years, Brazilian cotton has made a significant leap in terms of production thanks to constant investments in cutting-edge technology, increasing professionalization of growers, and innovations in research and growing techniques.

In a few years, Brazil has doubled its cotton acreage just by balancing the crop production mix with soy, corn, and other grains. During this period, production increased from 1.3 million tons in the 2015/2016 crop to approximately 2.7 million tons in 2020/2021.

Brazilian cotton crops rely on agriculture 4.0 and on mechanisms that include 100% automated harvesting, drones for area and climate monitoring, geostatistics software, and integrated systems. In addition, Abrapa provides periodic training for professionals in topics including management, monitoring, laboratory testing, and sustainability.

With a combination of technology, close participation and commitment, Brazilian cotton with environmental responsibility and the social development of its communities, offering traceability, sustainability, quality, and year-round availability.


data on Brazilian cotton for the 2020/2021 crop

4th largest producer

In recent years Brazil has ranked in the top 5 world producers, alongside China, India, USA, and Pakistan.

2nd largest exporter

In just two harvest seasons, Brazil moved from being the 4th largest exporter to its current position.

2.49 million tons production estimate

  • 1st cotton yields in drylands.
  • Highest cotton yield average in the world without irrigation, at 1,800 Kg/hectare.
  • Currently, 92% of Brazilian cotton is in dryland areas.

general information

  • 379 ABR certified farms
  • 370 BCI licensed farms
  • 266 ginning plants
  • 11 HVI laboratories participating in the Abrapa program
  • More than 12 million HVI tests planned



Brazilian cotton has 20 years of constant research and investments in technology. Our main innovations include:

  • Use of high-tech machinery for sowing, input applications, monitoring and harvesting, resulting in contamination-free cotton
  • Use of seeds certified by international and national technological protocols
  • Constant genetic improvement
  • No-till planting, which reduces the need for machines and preserves soil fertility and health
  • Integrated pest and disease management with synergy between the categories of agricultural crop, behavioral, genetic, biological and intelligent chemical control.
  • Installation of bio factories on the producing farms, called On Farm;
  • Variable rate fertilizer and pesticide application technology through precision agriculture solutions
  • Aerial spraying using management tools that allow for the protection of ecosystems, bee hives, other neighboring agricultural crops, cities, rivers and lakes.
  • Ginning machinery precisely regulated to maintain the intrinsic quality characteristics of the fiber
  • Sustainability practices via apps and management tools aiming at better decision making

the history

Brazilian cotton has a curious history of resilience and innovation. According to historical reports, local indigenous people used cotton fibers to produce yarns and rustic fabrics. But in 1750 the country discovered the commercial potential of its agricultural production and cotton became a sort of white gold for the domestic economy.

until the 1980s

Brazil was one of the world's largest producers and exporters of cotton.

late 1980s

early 1990s

The boll weevil spread across the fields destroying entire crops, causing families to lose everything and the Brazilian production to drop by more than 60%. This was one of the worst crises caused by a pest in cotton farming in the world.

late 1990s

Cotton crops are resumed and Abrapa (Brazilian Association of Cotton Growers) is created. The Association is responsible for uniting producers from all over Brazil.


Creation of Abrapa's traceability system in which each Brazilian cotton bale carries a code with a unique numerical sequence that makes it possible to track bales and also bears the following identification information: grower, crop year, ginning plant, laboratory, and HVI test results.

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Start of the sustainability pillar for Brazilian cotton, which since 2013 has worked in tandem with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). In 2020 Brazil became the first country in the world to also certify the Cotton Ginning Plants.

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Development of the quality pillar based on monitoring programs for HVI laboratories, ensuring full transparency for the Brazilian cotton information.

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Production in Brazil offers traceability, sustainability, quality, and year-round availability.

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