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Texas Cotton Crop in Better Shape Than Last Year

West Texas Cotton field

Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture released its August estimate of world cotton supply and demand. In general, estimates have been raised from the July level and the world’s production is estimated to be 114.11 million bales (480 pounds each), which is up from the July estimate of 113.81 million bales .

The United States is estimated to produce 17.65 million bales , which is up from a projection of 17 million bales which was made in July.

The High Plains of Texas, the home of the world’s most concentrated cotton production will have 4.1 to 4.2 million acres of cotton planted this year.

Speaking recently at the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. (PCG) meeting to both domestic cotton experts and international visitors from as far as Pakistan and Japan, Shawn Wade, director of policy analysis and research for PCG, said abandonment of cotton acres planted this year is currently below the normal range of 18-20%, but that recent weather and ongoing drought conditions are expected to eventually lead to additional acreage abandonment before harvest. He also noted that the percentage of 2012 dryland and irrigated crop acres in the High Plains is expected to mirror the region’s historical averages of 45% and 55%, respectively. Cotton experts present at the meeting reinforced the wide range of cotton conditions that can be found across the High Plains.

“While we expect to harvest a crop that is better than last year overall, it is important to recognize that we still have many areas  that are in essentially the same situation as they were in 2011,” stated Steve Verett, executive vice president of PCG.   Verett further stated “if price ratios between cotton and other crops stay at current ratios there will likely be less cotton planted in High Plains in 2013.”

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