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Cotton planted area in 2007 projected to decrease

14
Apr '07
U.S. cotton planted area in 2007 is projected to decrease 20 percent from 2006 based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Prospective Plantings report released at the end of March. As of early March when the survey was conducted, farmers intended to plant only 12.1 million acres to cotton in 2007, 3.1 million below the area in 2006 and the fewest acres since 1989.

Upland cotton plantings are projected to approach 11.9 million acres—also the fewest acres in 18 years—while extra-long staple (ELS) area—although below 2006—is expected to remain one of the larger ELS area estimates on record at nearly 300,000 acres.

These estimates will be updated at the end of June in USDA's Acreage report. According to Prospective Plantings, U.S. upland cotton area is forecast to decline in each region and for each State.

The cotton area decrease was anticipated with relative prices favoring corn as the demand for ethanol production increased significantly for the upcoming year. Most of the decrease is occurring in the eastern half of the Cotton Belt in 2007 as the Delta and Southeast combined for a 2.1-million-acre decline.

The Delta area is projected at 2.9 million acres (down 31 percent from 2006), the lowest since 1987, while the Southeast cotton acreage is forecast at 2.5 million acres (down 24 percent), the smallest since 1994. Upland cotton area in the Southwest is projected at nearly 6 million acres in 2007, down 13 percent, or 865,000 acres from a year ago. However, this region's cotton area has been smaller, most recently in 2003.

In the West, upland acreage is expected to continue to trend lower, falling about 100,000 acres (18 percent) in 2007 to 430,000 acres. The West's upland area forecast would be the lowest in 75 years, and a third of the upland cotton planted just a decade ago; area has moved into ELS cotton or to permanent crops in recent years.

Click here to view graph:

United States Department of Agriculture


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