facebook_pixel

Is Our 2017 Acreage Estimate Too Low?

From Cotton Grower Magazine – January 2017

Beck Barnes 2015 Web(3)

The Cotton Grower Acreage Survey is easily the most unique feature I’ll work on in the course of the year. For one, it requires a ton of math. This is not my strong suit. Luckily for me, we have multiple copy editors here at the magazine.

But the acreage survey also requires a great deal of audience engagement and outreach on our part. It relies entirely on the participation of our readers and listeners. And the survey requires that our respondents – hundreds of them spread across the 17 states of the Cotton Belt – respond sincerely. Sometimes they clearly do not.

Every year there are a very small (though not insignificant) number of acreage survey participants who clearly have an axe to grind – and they use their acreage estimate to do so. Some will write in that our acreage projection can only hurt farmers and help the market forces that drive prices down (I dispute this for a whole host of reasons – not least of which that American acreage estimates do nothing to move the price needle while millions of bales sit in Chinese warehouses.)

There are also those who state plainly that they are low-balling their acreage estimates in an effort to discourage high seed prices from the seed companies. That seems like a particularly weird means to an end, but hey, I’m not the one spending thousands on seed inputs every season. So I won’t knock our enterprising respondents.

To be sure, the vast majority of participants in our acreage survey do so with well thought out, honest opinions. So I trust that our final estimate for 2017 – 10,887,075 acres nationwide – will be pretty darn close to accurate when final planted acreage totals are announced by USDA in 2017.

But there’s an interesting bit of context to note with this year’s survey. Almost all of the farmers who responded gave a more conservative acreage estimate than did the Extension, association and allied industry respondents. Given the nature of Extension and association work, I tend to believe those folks have a pretty good idea of what’s going on in our market on a macro level. Meaning I generally trust that Extension folks are able to see the forest for the trees when it comes to U.S. cotton.

So while I trust our acreage projection will be close to accurate, if I was forced to choose, I’d take the over on cotton acreage in 2017. And to be clear, I’d love to see much more cotton in this country next season.

We think our acreage survey provides a valuable service to our industry, and it offers a significant glimpse into the health of cotton in America. If our estimate holds true, or if it proves lower than what actually transpires next season, it could mean great things for American cotton in 2017 and beyond.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Opinion Stories
Opinion

Plow Thru Cancer With Me, Won’t You?

November 10, 2017

Cotton Grower Editor/Publisher Beck Barnes gets personal about family and St. Jude...and shares a special request for the cotton community.

Opinion

Several Factors Vital to U.S. Cotton Industry Growth

October 31, 2017

Maintaining market share, enhanced consumer awareness and continued investments in research and development are needed to keep the U.S. cotton industry advancing.

Opinion

Five-Year-Old Girl Enthused by Cotton Research

October 27, 2017

A visit to a cotton research lab can help encourage students – even five-year-old girls – to consider a career in science.

Opinion

Creating Novel Functional Cottons

September 15, 2017

Incorporation of biological molecules to cotton may lead to development of novel functional cottons.

Opinion

Outlook Still Optimistic for Texas Cotton

September 2, 2017

Hurricane Harvey has focused the eyes of the world on Texas. Although cotton losses along the Gulf Coast are substantial, there is still optimism for a bumper crop as the High Plains moves toward harvest.

Opinion

Global Cotton Must Confront Polyester

February 23, 2017

In the face of massive shifts in consumption, member nations of the WTO must hold polyester to the same standards as cotton.

Opinion

Cotton Industry Begins Year with Optimism

January 20, 2017

Higher global cotton production and increased demand is the current state of the cotton industry.

Around The Gin
Product News

Bayer Looking for FiberMax One Ton Club Growers for 2017

November 16, 2017

Cotton growers who produce an average of 2,000 lb/A on 20 or more acres planted to FiberMax varieties in 2017 are eligible to be part of the 13th annual FiberMax One Ton Club.

Product News

Monsanto Delays NemaStrike for Additional Review

November 2, 2017

After finding cases of skin irritation, Monsanto is pulling its nematode seed treatment NemaStrike for further product review.

Product News

Intrepid Trio: Naturally Balanced Nutrition in Every Granule

November 1, 2017

Intrepid Trio contains three essential nutrients for cotton plants.

Product News

Save Time, Increase Efficiencies with Mixmate

November 1, 2017

Mixmate from Praxidyn is a precision chemical mixing system for small farms to large enterprises.

Product News

Crumpler Ironworks & Fabrication

November 1, 2017

Crumpler Ironworks & Fabrication is committed to providing the highest level of service, honesty and integrity, regardless of project size.

Product News

Delivering Proven Performance Across the Cotton Belt

November 1, 2017

Seed varieties, traits and crop protection products from Bayer deliver proven performance to growers across the Cotton Belt.

Product News

Growers Continue to Count on Americot and NexGen

November 1, 2017

Americot is dedicated to working with cotton growers throughout the Cotton Belt to provide elite performing NexGen varieties within the marketplace.

Product News

Deere Adds New Narrow Track Versions to 9RX Tractor Lineup

November 1, 2017

John Deere has added three new 9RX Narrow Track Tractors, expanding its lineup of high-horsepower machines.

Latest News
Opinion

Plow Thru Cancer With Me, Won’t You?

November 10, 2017

Cotton Grower Editor/Publisher Beck Barnes gets personal about family and St. Jude...and shares a special request for the cotton community.

Opinion

Several Factors Vital to U.S. Cotton Industry Growth

October 31, 2017

Maintaining market share, enhanced consumer awareness and continued investments in research and development are needed to keep the U.S. cotton industry advancing.

Opinion

Five-Year-Old Girl Enthused by Cotton Research

October 27, 2017

A visit to a cotton research lab can help encourage students – even five-year-old girls – to consider a career in science.

Opinion

Creating Novel Functional Cottons

September 15, 2017

Incorporation of biological molecules to cotton may lead to development of novel functional cottons.

Opinion

Outlook Still Optimistic for Texas Cotton

September 2, 2017

Hurricane Harvey has focused the eyes of the world on Texas. Although cotton losses along the Gulf Coast are substantial, there is still optimism for a bumper crop as the High Plains moves toward harvest.

International

Some New Thoughts for the Cotton Industry

August 23, 2017

Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar of Texas Tech spent part of his summer in India, observing and discussing the country’s cotton industry and goals. He shares some of his observations in this commentary.

Opinion

No One Reason for “Frustrating” Dicamba Issue

July 18, 2017

Tennessee Weed Specialist Larry Steckel has walked hundreds of drift-damaged soybean fields in the past few weeks. He shares some opinions about possible reasons for the problem.

Opinion

Global Cotton Must Confront Polyester

February 23, 2017

In the face of massive shifts in consumption, member nations of the WTO must hold polyester to the same standards as cotton.

Opinion

Cotton Industry Begins Year with Optimism

January 20, 2017

Higher global cotton production and increased demand is the current state of the cotton industry.

Opinion

Is Our 2017 Acreage Estimate Too Low?

January 10, 2017

If our estimate holds true, or if it proves lower than what actually transpires next season, it could mean great things for American cotton in 2017 and beyond.

Opinion

Don’t Be Your Own Worst Enemy

September 7, 2016

At a key moment in the registration process for new weed control technologies, a few irresponsible farmers are threatening to jeopardize it all.

Opinion

Cotton Incorporated Strikes Back

June 28, 2016

When bullies come after our industry, who is better equipped to stare them down than Cotton Incorporated?

Opinion

For Vilsack, the Time is Now

March 1, 2016

It’s time for Tom Vilsack to provide some value to America’s beleaguered cotton industry.

Opinion

Finding the Next Generation of Cotton Farmers

December 8, 2015

The cotton industry needs an influx of young energy that have an eye on the health of American cotton as a whole. The good news is that young people open to a career in agriculture exist.

Opinion

Talkin’ Turkey About Political Trade Games

May 8, 2015

It’s true that politics makes strange bedfellows. The same can be said about international trade.