The latest crop projection is well below the 2012 crop of 17.3 million bales and would be the lowest in four seasons.
The planting estimate—currently at 10.0 million acres—will be updated in theAcreage report released by USDA on June 28th.
This report will include actual plantings as of early June, as well as estimates for any remaining cotton to be planted. As of June 9th, 88 percent of the expected cotton area had been planted, below both last season (95 percent) and the 5-year average (92 percent).
Similarly, crop development is also running behind, with 6 percent of the cotton area squaring, compared with 18 percent a year ago and a 5-year average of 11 percent.
Based on current projections, U.S. harvested area is forecast at 8.1 million acres, implying an abandonment rate of 19 percent. Last season’s final abandonment reached 24 percent. Historically, most of the U.S. cotton area abandonment occurs in the Southwest region (Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas).
With the Southwest drought spanning a third consecutive season, abandoned acres there are expected to once again account for the bulk of the total. Abandonment in the Southwest is currently forecast at 32 percent for 2013; while the latest forecast is above the 10- year average of 25 percent, it is about half the rate experienced in 2011.
The U.S. cotton yield remains forecast at 800 pounds per harvested acre for 2013, compared with 887 pounds per harvested acre for 2012. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will begin “in field” production surveys in August.
United States Department of Agriculture
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