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Pima Preference in California Cotton Acreage Increase

Brian German Field & Row Crops, Industry

The latest numbers show an increase to overall planted acreage for California cotton this year, according to the 2019 planted acreage report from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).  Overall cotton acres planted this year increased more than eight percent from the 259,000 acres planted in 2018, despite some of the challenge’s growers were facing earlier in the year.

planted acreage“Compared with the previous year, five states planted fewer upland cotton acres in 2019, including California.  Upland cotton planted area is a record low in California,” said Chris Singh with NASS in Washington, D.C.  “In California, planting started a little behind schedule due to rain and cooler spring temperatures.  Weather conditions in May slowed crop progress and led to concerns of high insect pressure.  Some farmers reported switching from upland to pima.” 

The shift to pima cotton is clearly evident in the NASS report.  Last year California growers planted 211,000 acres of pima cotton, harvesting a total of 210,000 acres.  This year growers planted 240,000 acres of pima, an increase of nearly 14 percent.  The report also shows that 40,000 acres of upland cotton have been planted for 2019, down from 48,000 acres planted last year.

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Altogether California cotton growers have planted 280,000 acres for the 2019 crop.  The total amount of biotechnology varieties that have been planted this year are 89 percent, compared to 81 percent in 2018.  Of that total, ten percent are insect resistant, 38 percent are herbicide resistant and 41 percent are stacked gene varieties.

On a national level, cotton planted acreage is down about three percent from last year, with an estimated 13.7 million acres.  While pima acreage increased ten percent from 2018 to 275,000 acres, upland acreage decreased three percent to 13.4 million acres.  As of June 23, a total of 96 percent of American cotton acreage had been planted which is slightly more than last year for that date.  Quality also appears to be a bit better than last year, with 50 percent of the total acreage being rated as good to excellent.

About the Author
Brian German

Brian German

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Multi-media Journalist for AgNet West