According to the December 9 USDA crop production forecast, U.S. cotton production is down 2 percent from the November report.
“All cotton production is forecast at 13.0 million 480-pound bales, down 2 percent from last month and down 20 percent from last year,” reads the report. “Yield is expected to average 768 pounds per harvested acre, down 70 pounds from last year. Upland cotton production is forecast at 12.6 million 480-pound bales, down 20 percent from 2014. Pima cotton production, forecast at 451,000 bales, was carried forward from last month.”
Further, “upland cotton harvested area is expected to total 8.00 million acres, unchanged from last month but down 13 percent from 2014. Pima harvested area, at 154,300 acres, was carried forward from last month.”
Cotton harvest, meanwhile, “continued to lag behind the five-year average pace. As of November 29, 80 percent of the crop was harvested, 3 percentage points behind last year and 8 percentage points behind the five-year average. Record high yields are forecast in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Ginnings totaled 7,961,450 running bales prior to December 1, compared with 10,245,850 running bales ginned prior to the same date last year.”
According to the report, rainy conditions slowed the cotton harvest in Texas, “where only 3 percent of the State's crop was harvested during the week ending November 1. Overall, 47 percent of the (U.S.) cotton crop was rated in good to excellent condition at the beginning of November, slightly below the same time last year…
“Nationally, producers had harvested 80 percent of the cotton crop by November 29, three percentage points behind last year and 8 percentage points behind the 5-year average.”
Corn and soybean harvests
Corn harvest, finished in mid-November, was buoyed by warm temperatures that allowed producers to finish ahead of the five-year average. “Nationally, corn producers had harvested 85 percent of this year's crop by November 1, twenty-three percentage points ahead of last year and 6 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average.”
By the start of November, soybean producers had harvested 92 percent of the 2015 crop. That was “11 percentage points ahead of last year and 4 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. By November 8, producers had harvested 95 percent of this year's soybean crop, 6 percentage points ahead of last year and 2 percentage points ahead of the five-year average.
The USDA says by the start of November, 88 percent of the U.S. winter wheat crop had been planted. That number is “slightly behind last year and 2 percentage points behind the five-year average.
By November 29, the wheat crops in the “Northern Plains and Great Lakes Region generally had better condition ratings such as Montana at 73 percent good to excellent, than southern states, like Arkansas at 40 percent in good to excellent condition.