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Serving: West

Western cotton acreage shrinks to lowest levels in decades

Todd Fitchette wfp-todd-fitchette-california-cotton-736.jpg
Western cotton acreage will likely be the lowest it's been in decades as drought and irrigation availability choke production. U.S. Pima is said to be "sold out" as Pima acreage in Arizona and California may not exceed 100,000 acres across the two states in 2021.
California is not projected to have 100,000 acres of the premium, extra-long-staple varieties this season.

Cotton acreage in the West is in sharp decline due largely to drought and irrigation water availability.

California, which once boasted well over one million acres of Pima cotton alone, is not projected to have 100,000 acres of the premium, extra-long-staple varieties this season. Preliminary figures from the California Cotton Growers and Ginners Association suggest just over 91,000 acres of Pima cotton was planted in 2021.

An additional 35,500 acres of Upland varieties were likely planted. Mapping by the California Department of Food and Agriculture will soon confirm these figures.

Kings County, Calif. tends to be the leading cotton producer in the state.

Arizona too is down about 5.6% in total cotton acreage, according to the Arizona Cotton Research and Protection Council. Preliminary numbers reveal about 112,000 acres of Upland cotton and less than 7,000 acres of Pima cotton were planted this year in the state.

Pinal County, Ariz. tends to be the leading cotton producer in total acres. Graham County tends to produce the lion's share of the state's Pima crop.

Luke Bayci, cotton merchant with Handwerker-Winburne, Inc. told Arizona cotton growers at a recent meeting in Flagstaff that much of the U.S. cotton crop was behind slightly in scheduled planting. Arizona was characterized as "oddly cool" during the spring, leading to planting that was "slightly behind."

U.S. cotton stocks are projected to fall to 3.1 million bales. The U.S. is currently "sold out" of Pima cotton, according to several cotton industry leaders at the recent Arizona cotton industry meeting.

TAGS: Crops
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