Planting Pace Picks Up in the Southwest, First Squares Reported

The impact of good planting weather and timely rains is evident in the June 1 Crop Progress report from USDA, especially in those Southwest states where growers were waiting for much-needed moisture.

Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas showed substantial increases in cotton planting over the past week, thanks to a Memorial Day weekend storm that brought as much as five inches of rain to parts of the region. Texas growers added 13 percent more planted acres to the state’s total, jumping to 62 percent of a projected 6.5 million acres now in the ground. Plantings in Kansas increased to 66 percent of the state’s projected total (up 29 percent), while 41 percent of Oklahoma’s acres (up 11 percent) are now reported complete.

Planters also continued to roll through the Southeast and Mid-South, with several states – Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee – now reporting more than 90 percent of cotton acres planted. Wet weather slowed progress a bit in Alabama and Georgia, although roughly 80 percent of cotton acres in both states have been planted.

There is still work to do. In spite of the solid field efforts, planted acres this week lost ground to the five-year average for this date, mostly due to the sheer volume of Texas acres yet to be planted.

USDA also issued its first Cotton Squaring report of 2014, and the crop seems to be off to an average start. Squares are reported on only five percent of planted acres throughout the Cotton Belt, compared to a five-year average of six percent for this date.

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