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Cotton Producers Expect to Plant 8.2% More Acres in 2014

February 10, 2014
By: Boyce Thompson, AgWeb.com Editorial Director

A bellwether survey indicates that U.S. cotton producers expect to plant 11.26 million acres of cotton this spring, an 8.2% increase over 2013. That would be a turnaround from last year when high grain prices convinced many farmers, especially those in the Mid-South, to favor corn.

Results from The National Cotton Council’s annual survey of early planting intentions vary by type of cotton and region. Producers expect to plant 11.04 million acres of upland cotton, an 8.1% increase. Acres of extra-long staple (ELS) cotton will be up even more, 11.8%, though they represent fewer acres, 225,000.

Cotton producers are slightly more bullish about the crop than 12 cotton analysts surveyed by Bloomberg earlier this month. That survey predicted a 7.6% increase in cotton plantings to 11.2 million acres, the first increase in three years. A bigger crop could in turn depress prices later in the year. Short-term prices this year have rallied from about 83 cents per pound to 87 cents.

The ultimate size of the 2014 cotton crop will be determined by weather conditions, insect pressures, and market conditions. Dr. Gary Adams, the NCC’s vice president Economics & Policy Analysis, pegs one of the most significant variables, abandonment, at 15%.

At that rate, only 9.59 million acres of cotton would actually be harvested. Adams estimates that based on varying state yields that would generate a cotton crop of 16.37 million bales, an increase of 3.2 million from the USDA's current estimate of the 2013 crop.

The survey, mailed in mid-December to producers across the 17-state Cotton Belt, shows that plans vary by region and state. Growers in Florida and the Carolinas, for instance, expect to plant less cotton this year. Florida producers indicated that they would shift to soybeans, while Florida’s cotton acreage is moving into peanuts.

Growth in cotton acres is strongest in the Mid-South, where growers intend to plant 1.39 million acres, an increase of 12.5%. Producers in each state in that region, with the exception of Arkansas, expect to plant more cotton in 2014. In Arkansas, cotton will lose share to soybeans. In Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee cotton’s growth will come at the expense of corn.

The story is similar in the all-important Southwest, which accounts for more than half of planted cotton acres. Growers in the Southwest expected to plant 6.74 million acres of cotton, a 12% increase, mostly at the expense of grains. Some respondents expect to plant more cotton due to improved moisture conditions. 

Results from the West were mixed. Growers in Arizona and New Mexico intend to plant more cotton acres, while producers in California, where drought conditions persist, will plants fewer acres of upland cotton.

 
 
Prospective 2014 U.S. Cotton Area
 
2013 Actual (Thou.)  1/
 2014 Intended (Thou.)  2/
Percent Change
SOUTHEAST
2,667 
2,634 
-1.2% 
  Alabama
365 
376 
2.9% 
  Florida
131 
117 
-10.9% 
  Georgia
1,370 
1,372 
0.1% 
  North Carolina
465 
440 
-5.3% 
  South Carolina
258 
248 
-3.7% 
  Virginia
78 
81 
4.1% 
MID-SOUTH
1,235 
1,389 
12.5% 
  Arkansas
310 
296 
-4.6% 
  Louisiana
130 
157 
20.7% 
  Mississippi
290 
390 
34.6% 
  Missouri
255 
257 
0.8% 
  Tennessee
250 
289 
15.4% 
SOUTHWEST
6,012 
6,739 
12.1% 
  Kansas
27 
31 
13.9% 
  Oklahoma
185 
201 
8.4% 
  Texas
5,800 
6,508 
12.2% 
WEST
292 
275 
-5.8% 
  Arizona
160 
165 
3.2% 
  California
93 
68 
-26.9% 
  New Mexico
39 
42 
7.4% 
TOTAL UPLAND
10,206 
11,037 
8.1% 
TOTAL ELS
201 
225 
11.8% 
  Arizona
1.5 
3.6 
137.2% 
  California
187 
205 
9.6% 
  New Mexico
3.5 
4.0 
13.4% 
  Texas
9.0 
12.2 
35.2% 
ALL COTTON
10,407 
11,261 
8.2% 
                                                                        1/ USDA-NASS
2/ National Cotton Council
 

 

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RELATED TOPICS: Cotton, Crops, Spring Planting 2014

 
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