U.S. cotton producers will plant 11.5 million acres this year, down over five percent from last year. Those figures come from the National Cotton Council’s 40th Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey. Upland cotton planting intentions are for 11.3 million acres, down 4.9 percent from 2020, while extra-long staple intentions of 161,000 acres represent a 21 percent decline.
The detailed survey results were announced during the 2021 National Cotton Council’s Annual Meeting Virtual Live-Stream Event. “Planted acreage is just one of the factors that will determine supplies of cotton and cottonseed,” says Dr. Jody Campiche, the NCC Vice President of Economics and Policy Analysis.
“Ultimately, weather, insect pressures, and agronomic conditions will play a significant role in determining the crop size.” She also says that with abandonment assumed at 13.8 percent for the U.S., Cotton Belt harvested area totals 11.2 million acres. Using an average U.S. yield per harvested acre of 848 pounds generates a crop of 19.8 million bales.
“History shows that U.S. farmers respond to relative prices when making planting decisions,” Campiche says. “Relative to the average futures prices during the first quarter of 2020, prices of all commodities were trading higher. For the 2021 crop year, corn, soybeans, wheat, and sorghum will provide more competition for cotton acres.”