The National Cotton Council (NCC) 35th Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey indicates U.S. cotton producers intend to plant 9.1 million cotton acres this spring, up 6.2 percent from 2015.
Upland cotton intentions are 8.9 million acres, up 5.7 percent from 2015, while extra-long staple (ELS) intentions of 208,000 acres represent a 31.2 percent increase, according to the survey results announced at the NCC’s 2016 Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas.
Dr. Jody Campiche, the NCC’s vice president Economics & Policy Analysis, said, “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.”
She said that with abandonment set at 11 percent for the United States, Cotton Belt harvested area totals 8.1 million acres. Using an average U.S. yield per harvested acre of 831 pounds generates a cotton crop of 14.0 million bales, with 13.4 million upland bales and 595,000 ELS bales.
The NCC questionnaire, mailed in mid-December 2015 to producers across the 17-state Cotton Belt, asked producers for the number of acres devoted to cotton and other crops in 2015 and the acres planned for the coming season. Survey responses were collected through mid-January.
Campiche noted, “History has shown that U.S. farmers respond to relative prices when making planting decisions. During the survey period, the cotton December futures contract averaged just under 65 cents per pound, which is very similar to year-ago levels. However, corn and soybean prices are 8-12 percent below year ago levels, so price ratios of cotton to competing crops are a bit more favorable than in 2015.”