By Jessica Domel
Multimedia Reporter

Despite not being included in farm bill safety net coverage like other commodities in 2017, farmers produced more cotton thanks to a higher price than other crops.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Cotton Production Report, which was released May 10, Texas farmers produced 9.2 million bales of cotton in 2017.

That’s up 14 percent from the 8.1 million bales grown in 2016.

Yield was also higher last year. Farmers averaged 809 pounds per acre, which is up eight percent from the 748 pounds per acre seen in 2016.

Texas farmers planted 6.9 million acres of upland cotton in 2016. That’s up 22 percent from the 5.65 million acres seen in 2016.

Across the nation, farmers planted 12.4 million acres of upland cotton this year. That is a25 percent increase from what was planted in 2016.

Harvested acreage was up 16 percent from 2016 at 10.9 million acres.

Not only did farmers plant more cotton, they also produced more on higher yields.

Nationwide, yields averaged 895 pounds per acre, an increase of five percent.

The final 2017 upland cotton production for the United States was 20.2 million bales. That’s up 22 percent over 2016.

The low price of wheat is expected to continue to take a toll on the amount of acreage planted.

According to the May Crop Production report from USDA, Texas wheat production is forecast at 43.2 million bushels.

That’s down 37 percent from the 68.2 million bushels grown last year.

Yields are forecast to be down two bushels per acre from last year to an average of 27 bushels an acre.

The harvested acreage for grain in Texas is forecast at 1.6 million acres, down 32 percent from the 4.7 million acres harvested last year.

USDA forecasts that 1.19 billion bushels of wheat will be produced across the U.S. this year. That’s down six percent from 2017.

Nationally, farmers are forecast to harvest around 24.8 million acres of wheat for grain,which is down two percent from last year.

Yield is forecast down two bushels per acre to average 48.1 bushels per acre.