NCC: 2012 Acreage to Fall by 7.5%
The National Cotton Council projects 13.628 million acres of cotton will be planted in 2012, a nearly 8% drop from USDA’s 2011 final figure.
March 1, 2012
The National Cotton Council projects that 13.628 million acres of cotton will be planted in 2012, a drop from USDA’s 2011 final figure of 14.732 million, or a 7.5% decrease.
Upland acreage will decrease to 13.34 million acres in 2012, and is also a drop of 7.5% from USDA’s 2011 final Upland acreage figure of 14.426 million.
Extra Long Staple (ELS) planting intentions of 287,000 acres is down from USDA’s final 2011 figure of 306,000 acres, a drop of 6.4%.
The survey results were announced at the NCC’s 2012 Annual Meeting in Fort Worth in February.
The Cotton Grower acreage survey, released at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in January, pegged 2012 planted acreage at 12.9 million.
“Final production will be very dependent on weather developments, particularly in the Southwestern U.S,” said NCC Vice President Gary Adams. “ If conditions worsen, we could see the U.S. crop be two million bales lower than early-season expectations.”
The NCC survey, mailed in mid-December 2011 to producers across the 17-state Cotton Belt, asked for their intended 2012 cotton acreage, as well as for their intended plantings of other crops in 2012. Survey responses were collected through mid-January.
“The expected drop in cotton area is consistent with current market signals,” Adams continued. “Since 2011, cotton prices have weakened relative to competing crops, such as corn, soybeans and peanuts.”
Survey respondents throughout the Southeast indicated a decline in acreage in all states. In percentage terms, the largest declines are expected to be seen in Alabama and Virginia down 17.6% and 16% respectively. In Alabama, cotton acres are shifting to corn, soybeans and peanuts. In Virginia, cotton acres are shifting into soybeans. Georgia’s expected acreage is off 12.7% as corn and peanuts are the beneficiaries of the reduced cotton acreage. Growers in North Carolina indicated an 11.3% decline as corn, soybeans and peanuts are increasing area. Both Florida and South Carolina are reporting intentions 10% below year-ago levels. In those states, cotton acres are reported to be moving into peanuts and soybeans.
In the Mid-South, survey results show that growers intend to plant 2.3 million acres, a decrease of 6.9%. With the exception of Missouri, all states indicate fewer acres of cotton relative to 2011. Cotton acres in Missouri are up slightly at 2.3%. Of the remaining states, Louisiana is showing the largest decline at 17.7%. Results indicate a move to both corn and soybeans. With a decline of 9%, Arkansas shows the next largest drop, with those acres moving to corn. Declines in Mississippi and Tennessee are 6.5% and 5%, respectively. In both states, growers are opting for more acres of corn at the expense of cotton.
Southwest growers are indicating the smallest percentage decline with 5.3% fewer acres, lowering the regional total to 7.62 million acres. In aggregate, Kansas growers indicated essentially no net change in cotton area as the state total is expected to remain at 80,000 acres. Oklahoma acreage is showing a 10% decline as acres are moving to wheat. For Texas, respondents intend to reduce area by 5.1%. The relatively small drop in area could reflect the ongoing drought concerns and the need to maintain acres in a relatively drought-tolerant crop.
All states in the Far West region show decreases in Upland plantings, with the region as a whole down 10.4%. In Arizona, intended area of 222,000 acres represents an 11.3% decrease from the previous year. The expected decrease in acreage is coming in response to reduced price expectations and increased competition from wheat. At the time of the survey, California farmers intend to plant 169,000 acres (-7.4%), with the decrease due to a shift into specialty crops. California’s actual plantings could ultimately be dictated by water costs and availability. New Mexico is reporting intentions of 58,000 acres, down 15%.
With ELS prices down from year-ago levels and concerns about water availability in California, survey results indicate that U.S. cotton growers intend to decrease ELS plantings 6.4% to 287,000 acres in 2012. The results across the four ELS-producing states are mixed as New Mexico indicated an increase of 9.8%, bringing the states acreage up to 3,700 acres. The remaining states are expecting to reduce area relative to the previous year.