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US cotton output rises 3.4% to 15mn bales in June - USDA
Jun '14
USDA’s 2014 cotton crop projection was increased to 15.0 million bales this month (compared with 14.5 million in May) as abandonment expectations were reduced slightly to reflect recent rainfall in the Southwest. The latest crop projection is above the 2013 crop of 12.9 million bales but below the previous three seasons. 
The planting estimate—currently at 11.1 million acres—will be updated in USDA’s Acreage report, which will be released on June 30th. This report will include actual plantings as of early June, as well as estimates for any remaining cotton to be planted. As of June 8th, 89 percent of the expected cotton area had been planted, slightly above last year’s 87 percent but below the 2009-13 average of 91 percent. 
Crop development has followed a similar pattern; as of June 8th, 8 percent of the cotton area was squaring, compared with 6 percent a year ago and a 5-year average of 10 percent. 
Based on current projections, U.S. cotton harvested area is forecast at 8.75 million acres for 2014, reflecting an abandonment rate of 21 percent. Last season’s final abandonment rate was 27.5 percent. Historically, most cotton abandonment occurs in the Southwest region (Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas) and this is also expected to be true for 2014. Abandonment in the Southwest is expected to reach 34 percent in 2014, below last season’s 46 percent and the lowest since 2010. In 2011, a record 63 percent of the cotton area was abandoned in this region. 
The Southwest is experiencing its fourth consecutive year of drought in 2014, as limited precipitation has fallen during this period. In 2011, precipitation was almost nonexistent in the all-important growing area of the Texas High Plains—where more than 60 percent of the region’s plantings occur. Below-average precipitation continued and the cumulative effect has reduced the subsoil moisture significantly. 
From January 2011-May 2014, accumulated precipitation on the High Plains reached only 60 percent of the average. While recent rains will benefit the start of this season’s crop, a persistent drought forecast remains in effect for the 2014 season and USDA’s early-season crop projection reflects these conditions. 
The U.S. cotton yield is forecast at 823 pounds per harvested acre for 2014, compared with 821 pounds per harvested acre in 2013. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will begin “in field” production surveys in August.


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