MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 10, 2014 – U.S. cotton producers intend to plant 11.26 million acres of cotton this spring, up 8.2 percent from 2013, according to the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) annual early planting survey.

Upland cotton intentions are 11.04 million acres, up 8.1 percent from 2013, while extra-long staple (ELS) intentions of 225,000 acres represent an 11.8 percent increase. The survey results were announced today at the NCC’s 2014 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, February 7-9.

Dr. Gary Adams, the NCC’s vice president Economics & Policy Analysis, said that, “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.”  He said that with expected abandonment for the United States at roughly 15 percent, Cotton Belt harvested area totals 9.59 million acres. Weighting individual state yields by 2014 area generates a U.S. average yield per harvested acre of 819 pounds. Applying each state’s yield to its 2014 projected harvested acres generates a cotton crop of 16.37 million bales, with 15.72 million bales of upland and 657,000 bales of ELS. If realized, that would be an increase of 3.2 million bales from the current USDA estimate of the 2013 crop.

The NCC questionnaire, mailed in mid-December 2013 to producers across the 17-state Cotton Belt, asked producers for the number of acres devoted to cotton and other crops in 2013 and the acres planned for the coming season.

Survey respondents throughout the Southeast indicated a 1.2 percent decline, lowering the regional total to 2.63 million acres. Alabama, Georgia and Virginia intend to increase cotton acres, while growers in Florida and the Carolinas indicate declines. In Alabama and Virginia, the increase in cotton acres is coming at the expense of corn. For states reporting declines in cotton area, respondents in the Carolinas indicated a shift into soybeans, while Florida’s cotton acreage is moving into peanuts.

In the Mid-South, survey results show that growers intend to plant 1.39 million acres, an increase of 12.5 percent. With the exception of Arkansas, all states indicate more cotton acres relative to 2013, with the largest percentage increase in Mississippi.

Southwest growers indicated a 12 percent increase, bringing the regional total to 6.74 million acres. In general, respondents indicated a shift out of grain and into cotton. For some respondents, improved moisture also is allowing some acres to be planted in 2014 that were left idle in 2013.

West region results were mixed as Arizona and New Mexico growers intend to plant more cotton acres in 2014, while California will decrease upland cotton acres. For the region as a whole, the survey reports 2014 upland area of 275,000 acres, down roughly 6 percent from 2013.


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