‘Significant Increase’ in Cotton Plantings Projected

Brian German Field & Row Crops, Industry

Although cotton plantings might have gotten a bit of a late start this year, overall cotton acreage is expected to increase considerably.  California cotton is coming off of a strong year in 2018, creating optimism within the industry for another good crop year.

cotton plantings “I can tell you, based on preliminary planting intentions back in January and what we’re hearing from our growers and what we’ve seen so far, cotton acreage is going to be up,” said President and CEO of California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association, Roger Isom. “Right now, I’d say we’re probably going to be close to if not a little bit above 300,000 acres which would be a significant increase, maybe as much as 18 to 20 percent over last year.”

The rainy weather and the timing of water allocation announcements played a role in pushing the timeline for planting this year.  Isom noted that had it not been for the delays in planting, pima acreage was likely to increase more substantially.  “We’re kind of getting to the end of that window where we can plant pima.  We need that longer growing season, so people might look at upland and the shorter season varieties,” said Isom.

Earlier in the year, expectations for planted cotton acreage were slightly lower than what is anticipated now.  The Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey that was released from the National Cotton Council back in February indicated a 14 percent increase in cotton acreage.

A strong year for cotton in 2018 might be spurring increased enthusiasm in the industry, resulting in additional cotton plantings this year.  “We’re coming off of our highest yield ever.  I haven’t seen the final numbers yet but maybe even the highest quality crop we’ve ever had.  Last year was a fantastic year,” Isom noted.  “Low insect pressure, high yields, just an incredible Fall for harvest, so our quality was there. So, it was a great year to grow cotton.”

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West