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US cotton acreage forecast to rise in 2014 – USDA
Apr '14
U.S. cotton acreage in 2014 is projected to increase after last season’s reduction.  Based on the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) Prospective Plantings report that surveyed farmers as of March 1st, producers intended to plant 11.1 million acres to cotton in 2014. 
This initial projection is nearly 700,000 acres (7 percent) above 2013’s actual planted area. Upland area is estimated at 10.9 million acres in 2014, while extra-long staple (ELS) plantings are expected at only 158,000 acres. 
These indications will be updated at the end of June in NASS’s Acreage report. As of April 6th, cotton plantings were underway in a few States with 6 percent of the anticipated area planted, equal to the 5-year average. 
 U.S. cotton acreage is expected to rise this spring as estimates for 2013/14 demand exceed production for the first time since 2009/10 and reduce ending stocks. Relative cotton prices for 2014/15 have favored cotton over competing crops as planting decisions are finalized. 
According to the 2014 Prospective Plantings report, two of the four Cotton Belt regions—the Delta and Southwest—are projected to plant more cotton, while each of the four regions are expected to plant fewer acres of corn than in 2013; meanwhile, soybeans are expected to rise in the Southeast, Delta, and Southwest in 2014.
Overall, the 2014 upland cotton area is estimated to account for about 23 percent of the three-crop Cotton Belt total, above last season but below both 2012 and 2011. 
The Southwest is projected to plant nearly 6.7 million acres of upland cotton in 2014, about 650,000 acres (11 percent) above 2013 and nearly 4 percent above the previous 5-year average (fig. 2). 
The Southwest is expected to account for nearly 61 percent of the U.S. upland cotton area in 2014, the highest in over 75 years. If drought conditions continue, Southwest 2014 upland area could expand from that projected in March as cotton is a more drought-tolerant crop than other alternatives.  
The Delta is expected to rebound from 2013’s record low and plant 1.4 million acres to upland cotton in 2014, 17 percent above last season. However, the region will account for only 13 percent of the U.S. upland acreage, its second lowest share in over 75 years. 
In the Southeast region, 2014 cotton plantings are estimated to decline slightly from a year ago to 2.6 million acres. The region is projected to contribute 24 percent of the U.S. cotton acreage estimate, similar to its 5-year average. 
Meanwhile, limited irrigation supplies in the West are likely to reduce upland area by 16 percent from last season to 245,000 acres, which is slightly below that of 2009. The West will only account for 2 percent of the U.S. upland area in 2014. 
In addition, ELS area in the West is forecast at only 145,000 acres, 24 percent below 2013; however, the region will account for 92 percent of U.S. ELS area in 2014.


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