California Cotton Acreage Trends Up 26 Percent

California’s 2016 cotton acreage is up at least 26 percent after hitting lows last year not seen since the Great Depression.

Roger Isom, president of the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association, called the news “better than expected.” He won’t have a breakdown of Pima and Acala acreage until July.

Total cotton acreage in the San Joaquin Valley is a little more than 209,000 acres. Total California acreage is not known as figures from the southern California desert and Sacramento Valley were not available at press time.

Kings County continues its top spot at 83,260 acres of cotton planted, an 38 percent increase from last year.

Other San Joaquin Valley county cotton plantings and their respective changes from 2015 include:

  • Fresno: 48,415 acres, up 17 percent;
  • Merced: 39,510 acres, up 19 percent;
  • Kern: 23,895, up 13 percent
  • Madera: 620 acres, down 16 percent;
  • Tulare: 13,470 acres, up 27 percent; and,
  • San Joaquin: 213 acres, up 1 percent.

Total cotton planting estimates for the United States range from 9.1 million acres by the National Cotton Council and 9.5 million acres based on U.S. Department of Agriculture. The higher USDA estimate puts the 2016 U.S. crop 11.4 percent higher than last year’s cotton crop.

National figures show Upland cotton acreage projected to be between 17 and 24 percent higher based on the USDA and NCC projections. Western ELS cotton plantings could range from 5.7 percent to 11 percent higher, depending on the source of the estimate.

Arizona planting intentions suggest a crop size between 115,000 and 137,000 acres, up from 29-54 percent.

Upland plantings in the Southeast are projected down 5.1 percent based on estimates by both organizations. The Mid-South could plant anywhere from 25 to 45 percent more cotton this year. The Southwest could plant anywhere from 6.1 to 11.2 percent.

Texas is projected to have the largest cotton crop at 5.3 million acres, according to the USDA and just over five million acres, according to NCC. That’s 10 percent higher than last year’s crop, based on USDA numbers.

All state acreage numbers will be based on weather conditions, including flooding this spring and summer, across portions of the cotton belt.

Source: Todd Fitchette, Western Farm Press

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