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Acres in cotton expected to drop, Cotton Council says

U.S. cotton producers intend to plant 13.63 million acres of cotton this spring, down 7.5 percent from 2011, according to the National Cotton Council’s 29th Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey, the Memphis-based group has announced.

Upland cotton intentions are 13.34 million acres, down 7.5 percent from 2011, while extra-long staple (ELS) intentions of 287,000 acres represent a 6.4 percent decline. The survey results were announced Friday at the NCC’s 2012 annual meeting this weekend in Fort Worth.

With assumed above-average abandonment in Texas and Oklahoma and all other states set at historical averages, total upland and ELS harvested area would be 10.88 million acres, which is 20.3 percent below planted area.

Applying state-level yield assumptions to projected harvested acres generates a cotton crop of 18.30 million bales, compared with 2011’s total production of 15.67 million bales.
Gary Adams

Gary Adams
“Final production will be very dependent on weather developments, particularly in the southwestern U.S.,” said NCC Vice President Gary Adams. “If conditions worsen, we could see the U.S. crop be 2 million bales lower than early-season expectations.”

The NCC survey, mailed in mid-December 2011 to producers across the 17-state Cotton Belt, asked for their intended 2012 cotton acreage as well as for their intended plantings of other crops in 2012.

Survey responses were collected through mid-January.

“The expected drop in cotton area is consistent with current market signals,” Adams said. “Since 2011, cotton prices have weakened relative to competing crop such as corn, soybeans and peanuts.”