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US cotton growers may increase acreage in the coming season

As per the available estimates, while US cotton producers won’t put a limit to the number of acres planted in 2016, they seem to be increasing their cotton acreage in the coming season. Following a year in which they planted only 8.5 million acres of cotton – the lowest total since 1983 – they plan to increase cotton acreage by over 5 per cent in 2016. American cotton producers have indicated they will plant 9,085,000 acres of cotton in 2016, according to the annual Cotton Grower Acreage Survey.

While it does represent a higher total than what was planted in 2015, this projection would still represent the second smallest yearly acreage total dating back to 1983. If American growers do plant the projected 9.085 million acres, it would represent an over 30 per cent reduction in acreage from five years ago, when American cotton farmers planted 14.735 million acres of cotton in 2011, according to USDA data.

As always, the price of cotton in the commodity markets remains the single most significant factor in driving acreage totals. Prices have remained stagnant, hovering near the mid-60 cent trading range for much of the last calendar year, and many project that pattern to hold true for the foreseeable future. This has not encouraged new additions to cotton acreage in the US, although several other factors have helped cottonʼs cause, according to responses gathered in the Cotton Grower Acreage Survey.

Survey indicates that Texas will lead the way in 2016 acreage with a projected total – 5.216 million acres – that would represent nearly 60 per cent of total US acreage. The biggest factor in cotton acreage is price. It was the most frequently referenced reason survey respondents gave when determining their acreage projections. Respondents in Georgia, traditionally the state with the second largest cotton acreage totals, indicated their planting patterns will remain largely unchanged. The Cotton Grower Acreage Survey concludes that American cotton producers are impacted by the commodity market fluctuations as well as industry developments.