NCC Survey Suggests U.S. Producers to Plant 9.5 Million Acres of Upland/ELS Cotton in 2008

U.S. cotton producers intend to plant 9.5 million acres of cotton this spring, down almost 12% from '07, according to the NCC’s 25th Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey.

February 8, 2008
Contact: Marjory Walker or T. Cotton Nelson
(901) 274-9030

MEMPHIS, TN – U.S. cotton producers intend to plant 9.5 million acres of cotton this spring, down almost 12 percent from 2007, according to the National Cotton Council’s 25th Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey. Upland cotton intentions are 9.32 million acres, a decrease of 11.6 percent from 2007. Extra long staple (ELS) intentions of 231,000 acres represent a 21.1 percent decrease from 2007. The results were announced at the NCC’s 2008 Annual Meeting here today.

Assuming an average abandonment rate, total upland and ELS harvested area would be about 8.76 million acres. Applying state-level yield assumptions to projected harvested acres generates a crop of about 15.38 million bales. This compares to 2007’s total production of 19.03 million bales. Assuming average seed-to-lint ratios, 2008 cottonseed production is projected at 5.28 million tons, down from 6.60 million last year.

The NCC survey was mailed in mid-December of 2007 to about 40 percent of the producers across the 17-state Cotton Belt. Survey responses were collected through mid-January.

Dr. Stephen Slinsky, assistant director of NCC’s Economic Services, said, “Despite cotton prices being approximately 15 cents above year-ago levels, the strength of futures prices for competing crops continue to draw acreage away from cotton. Coupled with USDA’s recent wheat acreage report, it is evident that a wheat-soybean double-cropping rotation will attract acres from cotton and possibly corn.”

Based on survey results, the Southeast, Mid-South, Southwest and Far West show intended upland cotton planting decreases of 12 percent, 26 percent, 2 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

Survey results for all Southeastern states indicate declining cotton acreage, shifting to a double-crop of winter wheat and soybeans. The Carolinas reported the largest percentage declines, between 20 percent and 22 percent. Respondents in Alabama indicated an 11 percent reduction in cotton acreage while Florida growers are planning a 17 percent cutback. Georgia and Virginia respondents indicated the smallest declines of 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

All Mid-South states indicate a shift from cotton to wheat and soybeans with major percentage decreases in Mississippi (-31), Arkansas (-30) and Tennessee (-29). Smaller declines are expected in Louisiana (-18) and Missouri (-8).

“This means that 2008 Mid-South cotton area intentions would be less than half of that region’s 2006 level,” Slinsky said, noting that there was a sharp decline in 2007 acreage there, too.

Kansas and Oklahoma were the only states that indicate cotton acreage increases – with 16 percent and 3 percent increases, respectively. Texas growers indicated intentions of 4.8 million acres. While this is a 2.3 percent drop from last year, Texas is expected to account for half of all U.S. cotton acreage in 2008.

The West region showed a projected 38.7 percent decline. In California, concerns over water availability and competition from specialty crops are contributing to a sharp decline. If that state’s growers plant the indicated 91,000 acres to cotton, it would represent a 53.3 percent decrease from 2007. The survey revealed that Arizona and New Mexico growers intend to decrease upland area by 25 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

Each of the four states producing ELS cotton indicated declining area. In Arizona, California and Texas, declines were approximately 20%. (for more details, see table below and/or go to http://www.cotton.org/econ/reports/intentions.cfm)

PROSPECTIVE 2008 U.S. COTTON PLANTINGS

 

 

 2007 Actual

 (Thou.) 1/

 2008 Intended

 (Thou.) 2/

Percent Change

 

SOUTHEAST

2,255 

1,996 

-11.5% 

   Alabama

400 

355 

-11.1% 

   Florida

85 

70 

-17.2% 

   Georgia

1,030 

981 

-4.8% 

   N. Carolina

500 

390 

-22.0% 

   S. Carolina

180 

143 

-20.4% 

   Virginia

60 

56 

-6.0% 

MID-SOUTH

2,750 

2,049 

-25.5% 

   Arkansas

860 

605 

-29.7% 

   Louisiana

335 

275 

-17.9% 

   Mississippi

660 

454 

-31.2% 

   Missouri

380 

349 

-8.3% 

   Tennessee

515 

366 

-28.9% 

SOUTHWEST

5,122 

5,021 

-2.0% 

   Kansas

47 

54 

15.6% 

   Oklahoma

175 

180 

2.6% 

   Texas

4,900 

4,788 

-2.3% 

WEST

411 

252 

-38.7% 

   Arizona

170 

127 

-25.3% 

   California

195 

91 

-53.3% 

   New Mexico

46 

34 

-26.6% 

TOTAL UPLAND

10,538 

9,318 

-11.6% 

TOTAL ELS

292 

231 

-21.1% 

   Arizona

-20.0% 

   California

260 

204 

-21.4% 

   New Mexico

-4.8% 

   Texas

25 

20 

-21.4% 

ALL COTTON

10,830 

9,549 

-11.8% 

1/ USDA-NASS 2/ National Cotton Council