By Jim Steadman
USDA’s early projection for 2021 U.S. cotton acreage is 12.0 million acres – 0.7% below the 12.1 million acres planted in 2020 and the smallest planted area since 2016.
The projection was announced Feb. 19 during USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum.
The USDA number is about 4% higher than the National Cotton Council’s mid-February acreage projection of 11.5 million acres and 3.3% higher than the Cotton Grower Annual Acreage Survey of 11.6 million acres, released in early January.
“Cotton prices have been very dynamic recently,” noted Stephen MacDonald, Fibers Analyst for the World Agricultural Outlook Board, during the Forum’s Cotton Outlook session. “We have seen extraordinary strength in the last year in corn and soybean prices, as well as strengthening in every commodity price this year. Certain events have led cotton prices in the last month to be more robust and as a result, I think it’s appropriate that we have a higher area forecast for cotton.”
Other factors impacting the acreage projection include cotton growers’ experiences during the 2020 production season and soil moisture conditions heading into the upcoming planting season.
For the purposes of this analysis, MacDonald pointed out that the estimated 12.0 million acres should result in harvested acreages of 10.0 million acres – roughly 15% above 2020 – factoring in anticipated abandonment of 16.7%. National average yield of 840 pounds per acre is anticipated – up from the 825 pound per acre average for 2020. The total crop is projected at 17.5 million bales – 17% above 2020 production.
USDA’s Prospective Plantings report – the department’s first survey of producer planting intentions – will be conducted in early March and published on March 31.
Πηγή: Cotton Grower