A new report issued by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) says more than one out of every 10 cotton acres in the country will be lost to other crops this year.
The USDA’s “Prospective Planning” Report released March 30 forecasts cotton acreage to drop to 13.155 million acres, down 11 percent from last year’s total. The report also says products such as corn, soybeans, peanuts, and wheat will take hold of the acreage left behind by diminishing cotton stocks.
According to the report, cotton acreage across the US was down in every major cotton-producing state last year except two, Missouri and South Carolina.
South Carolina, in fact, is the only state that intends on planting more cotton this year than last.
“We knew with good weather coming early we were going to lose a lot of cotton acres in the Mid-South and Southeast,” says Peter Schlee, cottonseed merchandiser and owner of APEX in Hamburg, N.Y.
The state’s sandy, loamy soils have typically been favored for cotton over other crops, according to an article published by AG Web.
Despite the growth in South Carolina, the USDA says other cotton producing states can expect downturns. The uncertainty of harvested crops this year and severe to extreme drought persisting in West Texas and Georgia could also have a significant impact on the price of cotton throughout the summer.
The continued rising price of cotton over the last few years has lead textile producers to seek out alternative fibres, such as rayon, to produce clothing.