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October 3, 2017

A Look at the U.S. and Texas Cotton Crop

See how this year’s Texas cotton crop is shaping up.

This year’s national cotton crop was looking to be a good one, rivaling the 2008-09 cotton crop, according to a Texas Farm Bureau article, though both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma may have done enough damage to ruin the possibility of a record-setting year. Cotton is an important crop as the U.S. is a leading exporter of cotton and one of the top three cotton-producing nations in the world. The forecasts for Texas cotton production were up prior to Harvey as well. See what the experts say is behind it all, what impacts Harvey and Irma may have had, and what cotton growers can expect, below.

National Cotton Crop Numbers

According to the Texas Farm Bureau piece, the lower prices for other commodities were the deciding factor in many growers’ choices to plant more cotton for this year. Forecasts reported from the USDA prior to the hurricanes estimate the current cotton crop at 20.5 million 480-pound bales of cotton; that’s about 1.5 million bales more than July forecasts. If realized, it could be the largest cotton crop in 11 years. posited pre-hurricane that this summer’s increase in rain is also responsible for the upcoming bumper cotton crop. The piece also offers that the USDA’s August estimates might not be as accurate as usual, but that a better estimate, a higher estimate, in September of actual acres planted with cotton for this year’s season might make 20.5 million bales seem more plausible.

In terms of pricing, the Texas Farm Bureau article shared the USDA’s forecast that cotton farmers will see 55-67 cents per pound of cotton. The piece believed that December futures prices would be 62-63 cents if September’s forecast stayed in line with August’s.

Surprisingly enough, the USDA’s September Crop Production Executive Summary puts total U.S. cotton production at 21.8 million bales. Many believe that more accurate—and likely lower—numbers for cotton production will be reflected in the October Crop Production, which publishes October 12th.

A Look at the Texas Cotton Crop

As the state that leads the U.S. in cotton production and acres planted, the Texas cotton forecast is important as well. Cotton farms in Texas reported 5.7 million acres of upland and 15,000 acres of Pima cotton planted as of August. Forecasts for this year’s crop of Texas cotton predicted 8.8 million bales—up 700,000 bales from last year—as per the Texas Farm Bureau, prior to Hurricane Harvey. A video posted to the Texas Farm Bureau’s website shows the devastation that some Texas cotton farmers suffered from the storm. For one farmer, the high winds of the storm “picked” the un-harvested cotton right off the stalk.

Although it will be some time before the full effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are felt, AgAmerica Lending will be here to support the nation’s cotton producers in good times and bad with our unique approach to ag lending and custom cotton farm loans. Contact us today to learn more.

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