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Cotton was on track to do much better, but it's not all bad

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The final numbers on the 2020 crop are not altogether final, but it appears that the 28 Alabama gins will process about 700,000 bales from last year’s crop.

In the Feb. 15 Alabama Cotton Shorts, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service cotton agronomist Steve Brown discusses where Alabama's average 2020 cotton yields will likely end up and highlights a good 'page turner' number.

The final numbers on the 2020 crop are not altogether final, but it appears that the 28 Alabama gins will process about 700,000 bales from last year’s crop. Converting to a standard USDA bale measure of 480 lbs and assuming an average running bale weight of 493 lbs, that is almost 719,000 total bales harvested. Given an FSA tally of 445,000 acres, the average production settles at 775 lb/A.

Without question, we thought we had a much better crop September 1. In contrast, the numbers from 2019 were 1,028,000 bales from 532,000 acres for an average of 928 lb/A.

With the adverse weather during September and October, staple, mic, strength and uniformity were better than expected. In fact, five years ago who would have believed we would average a 37.3 staple! That’s a great number and a tribute to breeding and development. But the glaring, obvious negative is seed coat fragment deductions, which generate an extraneous matter penalty of 4.7 cents/lb. Forty percent of the crop classed in Macon had seed coat penalties.

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83.89 per pound

Page turned, we look ahead to the 2021 crop and a significant advancement in price. Last Friday the December ‘21 cotton futures price close was 83.89 cents. We welcome a price which begins with an 8!  

Production meeting

The 2021 Alabama Row Crop Production Meeting will be held via Zoom on February 18. The course is free but requires pre-registration to enter the meeting. It will provide 2 CEUs (1 for Integrated Pest Management and 1 for Crop Management) to those seeking CCA certification credits. To register and check the agenda go to https://www.aces.edu/go/rowcrops. The meeting will be archived and that link will be forthcoming.

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