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Cotton plantation acreage to shrink this year - NCC survey
Feb '08
U.S. cotton producers intend to plant 9.5 million acres of cotton this spring, down almost 12 percent from 2007, according to the National Cotton Council's 25th Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey. Upland cotton intentions are 9.32 million acres, a decrease of 11.6 percent from 2007. Extra long staple (ELS) intentions of 231,000 acres represent a 21.1 percent decrease from 2007. The results were announced at the NCC's 2008 Annual Meeting here.

Assuming an average abandonment rate, total upland and ELS harvested area would be about 8.76 million acres. Applying state-level yield assumptions to projected harvested acres generates a crop of about 15.38 million bales. This compares to 2007's total production of 19.03 million bales. Assuming average seed-to-lint ratios, 2008 cottonseed production is projected at 5.28 million tons, down from 6.60 million last year.

The NCC survey was mailed in mid-December of 2007 to about 40 percent of the producers across the 17-state Cotton Belt. Survey responses were collected through mid-January.

Dr. Stephen Slinsky, assistant director of NCC's Economic Services, said, “Despite cotton prices being approximately 15 cents above year-ago levels, the strength of futures prices for competing crops continue to draw acreage away from cotton. Coupled with USDA's recent wheat acreage report, it is evident that a wheat-soybean double-cropping rotation will attract acres from cotton and possibly corn.”

Based on survey results, the Southeast, Mid-South, Southwest and Far West show intended upland cotton planting decreases of 12 percent, 26 percent, 2 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

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