U.S. cotton producers want to increase their acres by 7 percent in 2016, according to a new survey by Delta Farm Press and Farm Futures Magazine.
After seedings plunged 21 percent last year due to bad weather at planting and low prices, growers will try to plant some, but not all of that ground back to cotton, those responding to the survey said.
The survey pegged all-cotton plantings at 9.19 million acres, compared to 8.6 million last year and 11 million in 2014. Growers have planted as many as 15 million acres of cotton in the years prior to corn futures reaching $4 per bushel in 2008.
The survey indicated growers in some areas appear reluctant to return to cotton. Acres could actually decline in the Southeast, as farmers try other crops. In the Delta, that crop could be corn, according to the survey. U.S. farmers overall say they want to boost corn plantings 1.7 percent to 89.5 million. Soybean seedings could fall 500,000, to 82.2 million.
Cotton could get a boost in the Southwest where plantings could bounce back from last year’s weather-impacted crop. Cotton seedings in Texas dropped by 1.4 million acres last spring due to untimely rainfall. Farmers were prevented from planting 400,000 of that, according to data released by USDA’s Farm Service Agency.
The cotton survey was included in a query of more than 1,550 farmers nationwide conducted by email from Dec. 7 to Jan. 4. USDA releases results of its first survey of prospective plantings for spring crops March 31.
For more on the 2016 outlook, visit www.farmfutures.com