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Cotton production forecast up in August
Aug '11
According to USDA's first survey-based forecast, the 2011 U.S. cotton crop is projected at 16.55 million bales, 554,000 bales above July's estimate but nearly 1.6 million bales below last season's output. The 2011 production decline is largely attributable to the drought in Texas that has reduced the harvested acreage estimate below the 2010 level.

Based on the August forecast, total cotton planted acreage in 2011 is estimated at 13.7 million acres, the same as reported in the June Acreage report. Despite a 25-percent increase in planted area in 2011, harvested area is projected at only about 9.7 million acres, 1 million below last season. As a result, the national abandonment rate is projected at a record high. Based on the August forecast, the U.S. cotton abandonment rate is forecast at 30 percent (4.1 million acres), well above last season's 2.5 percent (275,000 acres). Meanwhile, the U.S. yield is forecast at 822 pounds per harvested acre, 10 pounds above last season and the highest in four seasons. With the drought expected to reduce a large share of the dryland area in Texas this season, the national yield is projected to benefit from a cotton crop that has a higher proportion of irrigated acres to be harvested.

Upland production is projected at 15.8 million bales, 10 percent below the 2010 crop. During the previous 20 years, the August upland cotton production forecast was below the final estimate 9 times and above it 11 times. Past differences between the August forecast and the final upland production estimate indicate that chances are two out of three for the 2011 crop to range between 14.4 and 17.3 million bales.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

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