Farmers in areas of Oklahoma and Texas raked in their highest cotton yields ever this year. Strong yields and stronger prices have some states eyeing more cotton acres in 2017.
2016 saw a big boost in cotton plantings, up an estimated 17 percent over 2015.
According to the National Cotton Council (NCC), cotton prices saw a decent year, strengthening throughout 2016. Futures markets started in the low to mid 60s, but traded in the upper 60s and into the low 70s the second half of the year.
That price difference could buy acres in the new year.
“We typically do see cotton prices stronger relative to the primary competing crops,” said Gary Adams, president and CEO of the NCC. “It’s not that where cotton prices are compared to cost of production are necessarily that attractive to growers, but it is more attractive compared to corn and soybeans. That’s why the feedback we’re getting is a lot of growers are looking at increasing their cotton plantings for 2017.”
Adams said it’s still too early to put a number on the magnitude of an acreage shift.