Surveys Project Cotton Acreage to be Down in 2012
U. S. cotton acreage for 2012 is seen falling 15% to around 12.5 million acres.
February 9, 2012
U. S. cotton acreage for 2012 is seen falling 15% to around 12.5 million acres, according to a Deltapine survey of growers.
“The final figure will depend on the prices of corn and soybeans, as well as the vagaries of weather,” said Deltapine’s Marketing Lead Dave Rhylander at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences.
Based on corn and soybean prices at the moment, Rhylander says, “Cotton acres are going to be down.”
By comparison, Cotton Grower’s annual survey of growers, also released at Beltwide, pegged acreage at 12.9 million.
“Traditionally we have the first survey released,” said Cotton Grower editor Henry Gantz, who administers the survey. “And also traditionally, what growers tell us is a little low. In 2011, for instance, we projected acreage at 12.44 million. USDA’s final planted acreage number was 13.725 million acres.
“This year is going to be the reverse, I think,” Gantz added.
Some farmers and analysts feel it would be tough for cotton to compete for acres if soybeans stay at $11.50 a bushel or higher, or if corn stays over $6 bushel.
Cotton futures had a roller coaster ride in 2011, hitting an all-time record high of over $2.20 per pound last March. However, cotton prices came in as the weakest-performing commodity in 2011, losing over a third of its value from 2010 levels.
Most analysts who follow cotton said it would need a price of at least 90 cents for farmers to stick with cotton.
Rhylander said another key question is what happens in Texas, which was hit last year by its worst drought in a century.
There are worries in Texas because the La Niña weather pattern, which caused the drought, is still around, although its strength is much reduced.
Editor’s note: Some information was provided by Reuters.