By Justin Walker
Communications Specialist

Cotton is expected to see an increase in planted acres in 2019, according to a survey released by the National Cotton Council (NCC).

The NCC’s 38th Annual Early Season Planting Intentions Survey showed U.S. cotton growers anticipate planting 14.5 million acres of cotton this spring, an increase of 2.9 percent from 2018 estimates.

“Planted acreage is just one of the factors that will determine supplies of cotton and cottonseed,” Dr. Jody Campiche, NCC vice president of Economics & Policy Analysis, said. “Ultimately, weather, insect pressures and agronomic conditions play a significant role in determining crop size.”

Upland cotton growers intend to plant 14.2 million acres, up 2.8 percent, while extra-long staple cotton growers reported an increase of 264,000 acres, up 6.3 percent.

The survey, which was mailed out to growers from the Cotton Belt states in December, asked growers to report the number of acres they intended to devote to cotton or other crops for the upcoming season, as well as 2018 numbers.

“History has shown that U.S. farmers respond to relative prices when making planting decisions,” Campiche said. “The cotton-to-corn price ratio is lower than in 2018 due to higher corn prices as compared to last year. The cotton-to-soybean price ratio is higher than in 2018 due to lower soybean prices. A price ratio increase generally indicates an increase in cotton acreage. For the 2019 crop year, many producers have indicated a desire to reduce soybean acres due to low returns in 2018. As a result, corn is expected to provide the strongest competition for cotton acres in 2019.”

While expectations for the entire Cotton Belt went up, not every state saw increases. The Southeast Region is expected to drop 2.6 percent, with Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina reporting lower intentions for upland cotton than 2018 numbers.

The Southwest Region—which is comprised of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas—has an expected 2.2 percent increase, with Texas seeing a 2.3 percent increase for intended upland cotton planting.

The survey did show Texas growers intended to reduce the number of extra-long staple cotton acres in 2019, dropping 10 percent from the previous year’s numbers.

For a full prospective on U.S. cotton acres in 2019, click here.