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Cotton to be grown on 13

Cotton to be grown on 13.1mn acres in 2018: NCC Survey

Tue Feb 12 2018


Cotton growers in the US intend to plant the crop on 13.1 million cotton this spring, up 3.7 per cent from 2017, according to the National Cotton Council’s (NCC’s) 37th Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey. Most of the crop planted would be upland cotton, which is expected to be grown on 12.8 million acres, up 3.8 per cent from 2017.


The other variety, i.e. extra-long staple (ELS) cotton, is likely to be planted on 254,000 acres, representing a 1 per cent increase over the previous year, the survey showed. The survey results were announced at the NCC’s 2018 Annual Meeting in Fort Worth, Texas.


“Planted acreage is just one of the factors that will determine supplies of cotton and cottonseed. Ultimately, weather, insect pressures and agronomic conditions play a significant role in determining crop size,” said Dr. Jody Campiche, NCC’s vice president, Economics & Policy Analysis.


She said that with abandonment assumed at approximately 15 per cent, cotton belt harvested area totals 11.1 million acres. Using an average US yield per harvested acre of 842 pounds, the total cotton crop would be 19.4 million bales, with 18.7 million upland bales and 744,000 ELS bales.


The NCC questionnaire, mailed in mid-December 2017 to producers across the 17-state cotton belt, asked producers for the number of acres devoted to cotton and other crops in 2017 and the acres planned for the coming season. Survey responses were collected through mid-January.


Campiche noted, “History has shown that US farmers respond to relative prices when making planting decisions. During the survey period, cotton futures prices were stronger relative to competing crops. The price ratios of cotton to corn and soybeans are more favourable than in 2017. However, soybeans are expected to provide competition for available acres in 2018, due in part to the lower production costs relative to cotton. While cotton prices have improved relative to other crops, cottonseed prices are at the lowest level since the 2006 marketing year, thus increasing the net costs of ginning.”


However, many producers will continue to face difficult economic conditions in 2018. “Production costs remain high, and unless producers have good yields, current prices may not be enough to cover all production expenses,” NCC said in a statement.


NCC delegates were reminded that the expectations are a snapshot of intentions based on market conditions at survey time, and actual plantings will be influenced by changing market conditions and weather. (RKS)



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