The objective of this study was to describe effects of temperature regimes and rainfall patterns on cotton production in Zimbabwe. A 30 years climate data was sourced from Zimbabwe Department of Meteorological Services and cotton statistics from Department of Agriculture and Rural Extension (AREX), Zimbabwe. Descriptive statistics was used to determine observed trends between the recorded climatic data and the cotton yield. The SPSS 10.0 version was used to analyse the bivariate correlation and linear regression for the cotton yield and climate change. Descriptive statistics indicated an inconsistent effect of rainfall or temperature on the overall seed cotton production during the 30 years. The regression showed that changes in rainfall quantities had more significant (P<0.05) effects on cotton yield variation than the temperature during the 1990 to 2020 period. There were no clear relationships that were observed between rainfall or temperature regimes and the declining cotton yield during the study period suggesting effects of other factors other than climate may have on the continuous decline in production. Therefore, explanations for cotton yield variability should be analysed from other factors e.g. agronomic practices and selling prices.
Key words: Cotton, production, rainfall, temperature, yield.
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