NCC Projects 11.26 Million Acres of U.S. Cotton in 2014

U.S. cotton producers intend to plant 11.26 million acres of cotton this spring – an 8.2 percent increase over 2013 – according to the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey released February 8 during the association’s annual meeting.

The survey results showed projected upland cotton plantings of 11.04 million acres, up 8.1 percent from 2013, with extra-long staple (ELS) intentions of 225,000 acres – an 11.8 percent increase.

“Planted acreage is just one of the factors that will determine supplies of cotton and cottonseed,” said Gary Adams, NCC vice president Economics and Policy Analysis, in making the presentation. “Ultimately, weather, insect pressures and agronomic conditions play a significant role in determining crop size.”

Considering anticipated abandonment rates and average yield per harvested acre, Adams said the 2014 projected acres should generate approximately 16.7 million bales, including both upland and ELS. That would represent an increase of 3.2 million bales from the current USDA estimate of the 2013 crop.

The NCC questionnaire, mailed in mid-December 2013 to producers across the 17-state Cotton Belt, asked for the number of acres devoted to cotton and other crops in 2013 and the acres planned for the coming season. Survey responses were collected through mid-January.

Adams noted, “History has shown that U.S. farmers respond to relative prices when making planting decisions. Coming off of last year’s 10.4 million acres of all cotton, the survey suggests that growers are again responding to relative prices by increasing their intended plantings. However, as the state-level results show, the increase is not universal across the states and production regions.”

Survey respondents throughout the Southeast indicated a 1.2 percent decline in cotton acres, lowering the regional total to 2.63 million acres. Alabama, Georgia and Virginia intend to add more cotton, while growers in Florida and the Carolinas indicated acreage shifts into soybean and peanuts. In Alabama and Virginia, growers indicated a shift of corn acres back into cotton production.

In the Mid-South, survey results show that growers intend to plant 1.39 million acres, an increase of 12.5 percent. With the exception of Arkansas, all states indicate more cotton acres relative to 2013, with the largest percentage increase coming in Mississippi. In Arkansas, survey respondents indicated a 4.6 percent decline in cotton due to an expected increase in soybean acres. Responses for Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee indicated cotton increases were coming at the expense of corn.

Southwest growers indicated a 12 percent increase in cotton, bringing the regional total to 6.74 million acres. In general, respondents indicated a shift from grain to cotton. For some respondents, improved moisture is allowing some acres idled in 2013 to return to production in 2014.

West region results were mixed, as Arizona and New Mexico growers intend to plant more cotton acres in 2014, while California will decrease upland cotton acres. For the region as a whole, the survey reports anticipated 2014 upland area of 275,000 acres – down roughly 6 percent from 2013. In California, water availability and competition from other crops will limit upland acres.

However, the survey results indicate that U.S. cotton growers intend to increase ELS plantings 12 percent to 225,000 acres in 2014. This increase suggests that some of the California acres will move out of upland into ELS, and is consistent with Pima prices being above year-ago levels.


Source – National Cotton Council


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