Planting of the 2014 cotton crop continues to track last year’s start, based on figures from the May 5 USDA Crop Progress Report.
Sixteen percent of this year’s crop is now planted, compared to 17 percent this time last year and the five-year average of 25 percent. It’s a modest increase over the past week, during which heavy storms slowed field work in many parts of the lower Cotton Belt.
Louisiana showed the largest percentage increase in the past week, jumping 30 percentage points in planting progress (17 to 47 percent planted). South Carolina numbers increased 17 percent, followed by Mississippi (up 13 percent) and Arkansas (up 12 percent). All cotton-producing states except Virginia are reporting planting activity during the past week.
The California crop is essentially in the ground, as are 70 percent of the Arizona plantings.
Following a cool, wet start to the season, most of the Cotton Belt is predicted to enjoy warm, open weather this week. Growers are primed to take advantage of this opportunity, which should be reflected in next week’s progress numbers.