NCC Survey Suggests U.S. Producers to Plant 14.44 Million Acres of Upland and ELS Cotton in 2006

U.S. cotton producers intend to plant 14.44 million acres of cotton this spring, up 1.7 percent from 2005, according to the NCC's 23rd Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey.

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TUCSON, AZ – U.S. cotton producers intend to plant 14.44 million acres of cotton this spring, up 1.7 percent from 2005, according to the National Cotton Council’s 23rd Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey (see table attached).

Upland cotton intentions are 14.12 million acres, an increase of 1.4 percent from 2005 plantings of 13.93 million acres. Extra long staple (ELS) intentions of 312,000 acres represent a 15.2 percent increase from 2005. The results were announced at the NCC’s Annual Meeting, which began today in Tucson, AZ.

With estimated abandonment of nine percent, total upland and ELS harvested area would be about 13.09 million acres. Applying state-level yield assumptions to projected harvested acres generates a cotton crop of 21.41 million bales. This compares to 2005’s total production of 23.72 million bales. For 2006, the upland crop is projected at 20.59 million bales, while the ELS crop is pegged at 827,000 bales. Assuming average seed-to-lint ratios, cottonseed production for 2006 is projected at 7.66 million tons, down from 8.50 million last year.

The NCC survey was mailed in mid-December of 2005 to about one-third of the producers across the 17-state Cotton Belt. Surveys had to be returned by mid-January.

Dr. Stephen Slinsky, the NCC’s senior economist, said final acreage decisions will be heavily influenced by expected returns of cotton and competing crops. “However, this year producers are paying special attention to higher fuel and fertilizer costs and soil moisture conditions,” Slinsky noted.

Based on survey results, the Southeast, Mid-South and Southwest regions show intended upland cotton planting increases of 3.3 percent, 6.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. Decreases in upland cotton plantings of 23 percent were indicated for the West.

According to the survey, all Southeastern states except Alabama indicate increased acreage in 2006. The survey revealed a modest decline in Alabama’s cotton acreage, less than 0.5 percent, and indicated a shift into corn and soybeans. Increased cotton acres in other Southeastern states appear to be at peanuts’ expense.

For all Mid-South states, survey results indicate a shift out of corn and rice. The sharp increase in fertilizer prices are causing growers to shift away from nitrogen-intensive crops such as corn and rice, and some of those acres are moving into cotton. In addition, favorable cotton yields over the past two years have boosted expectations on cotton returns.

The Southwest shows a very modest increase of 0.3 percent to 6.25 million acres planted to cotton due to higher acreage in Kansas and Oklahoma. Texas growers – lacking the moisture enjoyed last year – indicated they would plant 19,000 acres fewer acres to cotton in 2006, a 0.3 percent decline.

All Western states show significant declines in upland, with the region down 23 percent to 551,000 acres. Results indicate a shift into more favorably priced ELS cotton and specialty crops. (additional details)

Prospective 2006 U.S. Cotton Crop

 

 2005 Actual (Thou.) 1/

 2006 Intended (Thou.)  2/

Percent Change

 

 

 

 

SOUTHEAST

3,030 

3,129 

  3.3% 

  Alabama

550 

548 

-0.4% 

  Florida

86 

104 

21.3% 

  Georgia

1,220 

1,272 

4.3% 

  North Carolina

815 

840 

3.0% 

  South Carolina

266

268 

0.8% 

  Virginia

93 

97 

4.0% 

 

 

 

 

MID-SOUTH

3,950 

4,193 

6.2% 

  Arkansas

1,050 

1,101 

4.8% 

  Louisiana

610 

652

6.9% 

  Mississippi

1,210 

1,304 

7.8% 

  Missouri

440 

464 

5.4% 

  Tennessee

640 

672

4.9% 

 

 

 

 

SOUTHWEST

6,229 

6,250 

0.3% 

  Kansas

74 

104 

39.9% 

  Oklahoma

255 

265 

4.0% 

  Texas

5,900 

5,881 

-0.3% 

 

 

 

 

WEST

716 

551

-23.0% 

  Arizona

230 

183 

-20.4% 

  California

430 

324 

-24.7% 

  New Mexico

56 

44

-20.7% 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL UPLAND

13,925 

14,123 

1.4% 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL ELS

270 

312 

15.2% 

  Arizona

62.4% 

  California

230 

254 

10.6% 

  New Mexico

12 

14 

21.2% 

  Texas

25 

37 

47.8% 

 

 

 

 

ALL COTTON

14,195 

14,435 

1.7% 

 

 

 

 

1/ USDA-NASS.

 

 

 

 

2/ National Cotton Council.