Southeast Shows Biggest Weekly Gains in Cotton Planting, Reports USDA

Cooler temperatures and rain in many parts of the Cotton Belt dampened planting progress in some parts of the Cotton Belt. But growers in the Southeast made the most of the past week, registering impressive gains in cotton seeding.

Based on the May 18 USDA Crop Progress report, overall cotton planting stayed on track with the five-year average for this date, with 46 percent of the U.S. now in the ground. That’s a 16 percent increase over equally impressive gains reported one week ago.

The five-year average for this date is 48 percent of cotton planting completed.

The biggest gains came from the Southeast, with a 48 percent increase reported in Virginia (25 percent to 73 percent) and a 39 percent jump in North Carolina (26 percent to 65 percent). Georgia and South Carolina both reported 20 percent-plus increases in planting.

In the Mid-South, 82 percent of the Louisiana crop is now planted, as is 77 percent of the cotton in Arkansas. Nearly two-thirds of the crop is also in the ground in Mississippi (64 percent) and Missouri (62 percent), with Tennessee reporting a 22 percent increase in planted acres (26 percent to 48 percent).

Texas growers continued to watch for rain to help give dryland acres a boost before planting, as ongoing drought conditions continue to plague the state. Overall, growers registered a modest increase in planting (24 percent to 36 percent), with most activity limited to irrigated fields.

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