Cotton Makes a Comeback in U.S. Plains as Farmers Sour on Wheat
Farmers in Kansas and Oklahoma are planting more land with cotton than they have for decades as they ditch wheat, attracted by relatively high cotton prices and the crop’s ability to withstand drought, reports Michael Hirtzer on Reuters.com.
A 20% increase from last year marks a sharp turnaround for the crop that once dominated the Mississippi Delta into Texas. Just three years ago, low prices led to U.S. farmers planting the fewest acres with cotton in over 30 years.
The switch to cotton in the southern plains of the United States could be long term as farmers move away from a global wheat market that is increasingly dominated by fast-growing supply from top exporter Russia. U.S. farmers have struggled to make a profit on wheat due to a global glut.
Cotton is a safer bet than wheat because it can be grown with less water, at a time when drought has hit some areas of the U.S. farm belt.