If I Have Heard It Once, I’ve Heard It a Hundred Times

Considering that I’m an editor at a cotton publication, I sure hear a whole lot about corn. Since late last year, rumors have circulated that a lot of cotton producers would plant more corn in 2007. I say rumors, but really that’s just a euphemism for a fact that no one wanted to admit. You really can’t call it a rumor if it’s true.

Chad Russell
Chad Russell Farms,
Marianna, Ark

I am going to grow 1,200 acres of cotton and not any corn.
The reason I am staying with cotton is the investment in the equipment. I really can’t justify making the change for possibly one year. I am not set up to harvest any grain, and I would have to park some stuff and buy some stuff or do some custom hiring.
I feel like there is a lot of risk in growing corn. The major risk for me, especially around here, is going to be getting it in the elevator – I think that is going to be a major problem. And then there is also the aflatoxin issue, which I don’t know if that is going to be a problem or not. It has only happened once that I can remember, but that is definitely something negative for me.
Another big thing is that I just think we are really good at growing cotton, compared to other crops. The yields are the only things that are sustaining us anyway. I am growing all Delta and Pine Land varieties, 444 and 445, and with the yields I can make on cotton, I still think I can compare pretty good to corn, even at $4.00.
I think eventually the price of cotton will have to move up, but I will be very surprised if it happens this year – it hasn’t shown any sign of it right now.

In January, our annual acreage survey predicted that cotton would be down significantly, and last month the National Cotton Council’s planting intentions were released, predicting that 13.2 million acres would be planted. That’s down almost 14% from 2006.

In some areas, 14% might be a blessing. Acreage could be down as much as 25%, and even more in some states.

So what’s the deal? We all know the answer – corn, and in a big way.

The way I hear people talk, it’s like they were all standing around at cotton’s funeral. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First things first, cotton’s situation isn’t really that bad. Just a few years ago, we had back-to-back plantings around 13.5 million acres, followed by a couple big years. From year to year, acreage is going to go up, and it is going to go down. It seems to me that a bigger concern is that we sell the cotton we have warehoused, and fewer acres in 2007, along with an uptick in Asia’s consumption, could alleviate that.

More importantly, all is not lost for cotton. Many producers may rotate corn for a year, maybe two, but there are some producers who say their sticking to their guns. For them, cotton is a profitable crop, a crop they know how to grow.

With all the talk about corn, it was nice to hear from a grower who is not jumping on the bandwagon, or should I say combine. For all the great things I hear about corn, and admittedly price is a huge advantage this year, there are some hurdles to jump. Many growers don’t have the infrastructure to grow corn, and if they do, the country could be at capacity to store. Building more storage facilities for a couple bumper crops might not be the answer. Furthermore, cotton producers know how to grow cotton; jumping to another crop could spell trouble. But enough from me, and all the naysayers out there. Take it from a cotton grower who’s sticking to what he knows …

Leave a Reply

Planting Stories
Cotton Production

Cotton Grower Acreage Survey: Growers Dialing Back Acres in 2015

January 5, 2015

The 2015 Cotton Grower Acreage Survey suggests cotton farmers could reduce cotton plantings by more than 10 percent this year.

Planting

2015 Tennessee Cotton Variety Guide Available Online

December 16, 2014

The 2015 Tennessee Cotton Variety Guide is now available online.

Planting

2014 Mississippi Small Plot Trial Data Now Available

December 15, 2014

Data from the 2014 Mississippi Small Plot Cotton Official Variety Trial is now available through Mississippi State University.

Planting

AgriLife Extension’s On-Farm Cotton Variety Trial Data Available

November 26, 2014

The annual Replicated Agronomic Cotton Evaluation trial results for the South, East and Central Regions of Texas are now available from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Cotton Production

Planting Pace Picks Up in the Southwest, First Squares Reported

June 2, 2014

The June 1 USDA Crop Progress report shows that Southwestern states made substantial progress in cotton planting over the past week, thanks to much-needed moisture.

Cotton Production

Cotton Planting in Many States Now Ahead of Five-Year Average

May 27, 2014

USDA reports that 62 percent of the U.S. cotton crop has now been planted, with eight states ahead of their five-year planting average.

Cotton Production

Southeast Shows Biggest Weekly Gains in Cotton Planting, Reports USDA

May 19, 2014

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. But growers in the Southeast made the most of the past week, registering impressive gains in cotton seeding.

Around The Gin
Product News

Bollgard II XtendFlex Cotton Poised for Limited Introduction

January 21, 2015

A limited introduction of Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton varieties is planned for the 2015 planting season through Deltapine and select licensees.

Product News

USDA Deregulates Dicamba-Tolerant Technologies for Cotton and Soybeans

January 16, 2015

The USDA has announced its decision to deregulate Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans – Monsanto’s dicamba-tolerant trait technologies for those crops.

Product News

Bayer CropScience Anticipates Registration for New Cotton and Peanut Insecticide

January 15, 2015

Bayer CropScience anticipates the registration of Velum Total, the company’s newest insecticide/nematicide, for the 2015 cotton and peanut season in the Southeast.

Product News

New FiberMax and Stoneville Varieties for 2015 Feature GLT Technology

January 14, 2015

Bayer CropScience has announced four new FiberMax and Stoneville cotton varieties for the 2015 season.

Product News

PhytoGen Introduces 2015 Cotton Varieties

January 13, 2015

PhytoGen’s cottonseed portfolio for 2015 includes proven high yielding varieties, as well as new varieties featuring advanced insect, nematode and disease technologies.

Product News

Monsanto and FMC Renew and Broaden Crop Protection Agreement

January 8, 2015

Monsanto and FMC have agreed to extend and broaden their current relationship to help benefit cotton, corn and soybean growers through Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions.

Product News

Deltapine Announces Class of 15 Cotton Varieties

December 16, 2014

Deltapine has announced two new high-yielding cotton varieties for its Class of 15, with several potential varieties awaiting regulatory approvals of the Bollgard II XtendFlex technologies.

Precision Technology

NORAC Hybrid Mode Receives U.S. and European Patent Approval

December 8, 2014

NORAC Systems International Inc.’s Hybrid Mode in-crop spraying feature has received patent approval in the U.S. and Europe.

Latest News
Cotton Production

Cotton Grower Acreage Survey: Growers Dialing Back Acres in 2015

January 5, 2015

The 2015 Cotton Grower Acreage Survey suggests cotton farmers could reduce cotton plantings by more than 10 percent this year.

Planting

2015 Tennessee Cotton Variety Guide Available Online

December 16, 2014

The 2015 Tennessee Cotton Variety Guide is now available online.

Planting

2014 Mississippi Small Plot Trial Data Now Available

December 15, 2014

Data from the 2014 Mississippi Small Plot Cotton Official Variety Trial is now available through Mississippi State University.

Planting

AgriLife Extension’s On-Farm Cotton Variety Trial Data Available

November 26, 2014

The annual Replicated Agronomic Cotton Evaluation trial results for the South, East and Central Regions of Texas are now available from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Cotton Production

USDA Says Cotton Planting Nearly Complete, Early Crop in Good Shape

June 9, 2014

According to the June 8 USDA cotton crop reports, 89 percent of this year's crop has now been planted, and the early crop is off to a solid start.

Cotton Production

Setting New Yield Limits

June 4, 2014

A harvesting trip to Texas changed the way Tommy Butner thought about yields on his own Tennessee farm.

Cotton Production

Planting Pace Picks Up in the Southwest, First Squares Reported

June 2, 2014

The June 1 USDA Crop Progress report shows that Southwestern states made substantial progress in cotton planting over the past week, thanks to much-needed moisture.

Cotton Production

Cotton Planting in Many States Now Ahead of Five-Year Average

May 27, 2014

USDA reports that 62 percent of the U.S. cotton crop has now been planted, with eight states ahead of their five-year planting average.

Cotton Production

Southeast Shows Biggest Weekly Gains in Cotton Planting, Reports USDA

May 19, 2014

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. But growers in the Southeast made the most of the past week, registering impressive gains in cotton seeding.

Cotton Production

Planting Surge Puts 2014 Cotton Acres Near Five-Year Average

May 12, 2014

According to the May 11 USDA Crop Progress Report, 30 percent of the U.S. cotton crop is now in the ground. That’s a 15 percent jump in planting in the past week, and only four percentage points below the five-year average for this date.

Cotton Production

USDA Reports Pockets of Progress in 2014 Cotton Planting

May 5, 2014

According to the May 5 USDA Crop Progress Report, planting of the 2014 cotton crop continues to track last year’s start, witih 16 percent of this year’s crop now planted

Cotton Production

New Webcast, Search Tool Added to Focus on Cotton Website

April 30, 2014

A new webcast focusing on cotton nutrition and a one-stop search tool that targets Extension cotton information from 17 states have been added to the Focus on Cotton webpage.

Cotton Production

Cotton Following 2013 Planting Patterns for Most States

April 29, 2014

Based on the April 28 USDA Crop Progress Report, 13 percent of the nation’s cotton crop has been planted – exactly the same percentage in the ground one year ago.

Cotton Production

Five Keys to Higher Cotton Yields

April 24, 2014

As growers in the Southern Cotton Belt begin shifting their planting focus to cotton, they should consider five optimum pre- and early season opportunities to manage for top yields.

Cotton Production

New Questions Facing Thrips Management

April 10, 2014

Control options for thrips still work, but potential issues bear watching.