2013 Cotton Acres Early Projections & Planting Estimates

I’m overdue to write up something explaining what’s going on in the world of US 2013 cotton acres. Of course, it has been the topic of discussion for a lot of cotton meetings this winter and the spring planting season was bumpy with weather. I figured now is as good a time as any to talk about what’s going on.

Winter Cotton Planting Projections for 2013

The winter meetings showed a range of projected acres from the USDA’s  projected 2013 U.S. cotton planted acreage of 10.0 million acres (down almost one-fifth from 2012). They said it was “due mainly to lower cotton prices and relative net returns that favor shifts to alternative crops.” The National Cotton Council’s (NCC’s) planting survey (taken in December-January) provided a lower number forecasting 9.0 million acres before prices rose a bit. The survey pointed to a movement from cotton to corn and soybeans in the Delta and the Southeast and wheat, corn and sorghum as the main replacement of cotton in the Southwest, and wheat and specialty crops taking acres from my favorite fiber in the West.

Spring Cotton Planting Results 2013

cotton plants breaking through soil

The USDA NASS issued it’s 2013 acreage report on July 28. And thankfully the USDA was closer and cotton acres didn’t drop as much as farmers had thought they may as the total came in at 10.251 million acres. That’s probably due in part to the fact that cotton prices rose a bit and spring weather in some areas made it hard to get earlier crops in the ground but it still represents a big drop from 2012.

The chart below shows which states had the largest drops.

2012* 2013* Change 2012 vs 2013
Alabama 380 330 -50
Arizona 203 171 -32
Arkansas 595 320 -275
California 367 330 -37
Florida 108 125 17
Georgia 1,290 1,300 10
Kansas 56 30 -26
Louisiana 230 130 -100
Mississippi 475 320 -155
Missouri 350 270 -80
New Mexico 47.4 34 -13.4
North Carolina 585 420 -165
Oklahoma 305 150 -155
South Carolina 299 280 -19
Tennessee 380 260 -120
Texas 6,558 5,711 -847
Virginia 86 70 -16
United States 12314.4 10251 -2063.4

* all numbers in thousands

I had to add the change column to see where the drops were. Then I realized I wanted to know on a percentage basis where the changes were most significant. Surprisingly, Florida and Georgia were the only cotton-producing states that had increases in planted areas with 16 percent and 1 percent increases respectively. The states with the largest percentage drops were Oklahoma (down 51%), Kansas (down 46%), Arkansas  (down 46%), Louisiana (down 43%) and both Mississippi and Tennessee cutting their acreage by a third (33% and 32% respectively). Now the watch is on to see how these acres do through the summer. Hail storms sometimes make farmers abandon acres as can drought.

Here’s hoping to a successful year for the country’s cotton farmers! I’m hoping to continue to lose weight so I will be in the market for some more jeans!

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About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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