Tag Archive: Cotton

Cotton Marketing News: Cotton Makes a Hard Landing

Cotton Marketing News:  Cotton Makes a Hard Landing

Apparently, USDA’s September numbers took the market by surprise.  I don’t quite understand why that should have been the case, but apparently it was.  To a lot of folks that know cotton and keep a close eye on things, the September numbers were not really that much of a surprise.  It was expected that the numbers might reflect higher planted acres, higher yield, and not yet reflect the impacts of Hurricane Harvey.

This is why the move back to 75 cents on December 17 futures was considered to be a good late-season pricing opportunity.  As expected, it will now be the October report before USDA numbers reflect Harvey and now Irma impacts.  Of course, other sources will provide loss estimates in the interim.  As more is known, and if the crop does eventually get smaller, prices could still rally to recover some of this week’s decline.

I’m surprised the market has not yet reacted to Irma.  The Georgia crop, currently estimated at 2.7 million bales, was hit by heavy rain and sustained high winds.  There will be yield losses due to twisted and downed stalks and branches, and lint blown from open bolls to the ground.

The week started out with a wild Monday with December ranging from 75.45 to 71.59 cents before closing at 72.11—down 2.48 cents—and this was before Tuesday’s report.  Then on Tuesday, Dec was down the limit to 69.11 cents.  Since then, Dec seems to have “landed” at that 69-cent area.  So, we’re back pretty much where we were pre-Harvey.  If the 68 to 69 cent area holds moving forward, any rally will be challenged around the 71 to 72 cent area.

The US crop is now estimated at 21.76 million bales—1.21 million bales higher than the August estimate.  Acres planted were increased 560,000 acres, acres to be harvested increased 460,000, and yield increased from 892 to 908 lbs per acre.

This month’s report revised acres planted from the first estimates made back in June.  Acreage was revised up in 14 states, including a roughly 300,000 acre increase in Texas, 110,000 acre increase in Oklahoma, and 80,000 in Mississippi.  Georgia plantings were revised down 60,000 acres.

The projected US yield was revised up to 908 lbs per acre.  Yield was increased in 14 states including sizable increases in Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Virginia.  Acres to be harvested, yield, and total production are subject to further revision as the aftermath of Harvey and Irma continue to be deciphered.

The market will continue to be volatile and uncertain, as US production and fiber quality are both big unknowns.  Elsewhere in this week’s supply and demand estimates:

  • Projected US exports for the 2017 crop marketing year were raised 700,000 bales—reflecting the larger available supply.
  • Production was increased in Australia, Brazil, and India.
  • China’s expected imports were increased 100,000 bales. Production and Use were unchanged.
  • Imports were also increased for Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Vietnam—550,000 bales in total.
  • World Use was raised 350,000 bales and is now projected to be 117.75 million bales for 2017-18. If realized, this would be 3.6% above last season.

Export sales for the 2017 crop year have been doing well.  As of September 7, a sales total 7.25 million bales—49% of USDA’s projection for the crop marketing year.  For the 7-day period ending September 7, sales were slow—only 71,000 bales compared to approximately 123,000 bales for the prior period.

Many growers were adversely affected by Harvey and Irma.  Both yield and fiber quality are unknown.  This week’s price decline adds further injury.  The US crop will likely get smaller with the October numbers—but it may still be in the neighborhood of 20 million bales.

If the crop gets smaller as estimates are revised to reflect Harvey and Irma, prices should show some improvement, especially if exports continue to do well.  Prices will be volatile, so a range of mostly 67 to 72 cents is likely over the next couple of months depending on how everything plays out both here and abroad.






Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/16/cotton-marketing-news-cotton-makes-a-hard-landing/

New Insect and Mite Control Guide for Florida Cotton Growers

New Insect and Mite Control Guide for Florida Cotton Growers

Joe Funderburk, Professor of Entomology, NFREC Quincy

A UF/IFAS EDIS fact sheet is now available entitled “Insect and Mite Integrated Pest Management in Florida Cotton” by Joe Funderburk, Nicole Casuso, Norman Leppla, and Michael Donahue. The guide provides growers with up-to-date information on scouting and managing insects and mites in their fields.

The guide contains a link to a cotton insect identification guide. It also contains links to information on individual insect identification and their damage, including tobacco thrips, tobacco budworm, cotton bollworm, true armyworm, beet armyworm, fall armyworm, cutworms, loopers, boll weevil, plant bugs and stink bugs, cotton aphid, broad mite, two-spotted spider mite, and silverleaf whitefly.

The guide provides scouting information and damage thresholds which are important to avoid unnecessary pesticide application and to conserve important natural enemies. Conversely, cotton fields require frequent scouting from emergence to harvest as damaging pest populations can develop quickly. The guide details the recommended period of sampling and methods of sampling that are appropriate for individual pests. The average number of the pests in the samples then is used to determine if a management tactic is needed to prevent the pest from reaching a damage threshold.

For example, sweep netting is frequently used to estimate the number of plant bug adults once squaring begins in a cotton field (Figure 1). Take several 25-sweep samples in a field to determine if populations are approaching damage thresholds in a field.

Figure 1. Sweep netting is a way to monitor several cotton insect pests, including plant bugs and stink bugs. Credit: Joe Funderburk

For cotton boll weevils, pheromone traps are an efficient way to monitor (Figure 2). One trap is recommended for every 20 acres in a field.

Figure 2. Pheromone traps are used to monitor for boll weevils. Credit: Joe Funderburk

The guide serves as a reference for management tactics with links to other EDIS articles and external sources of information on arthropod management in cotton. These include cultural controls, mechanical controls, biological controls, and chemical controls. The article serves as a guide for Bt and non-BT cotton.

A pesticide table is included from the National Pesticide Informational Retrieval System that lists the major arthropod pests of cotton in Florida, the active ingredients and example products registered for controlling them, and the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) classification system for use in rotating active ingredients to prevent resistance in target pests. The table includes special information on precautions and recommendations for maximizing control in Florida.

This EDIS publication website allows UF/IFAS extension researchers, extension specialists, and extension agents to regularly update fact sheets to include the most current information.

Download and print out the pdf, printer friendly version of this new fact sheet:

Insect and Mite Integrated Pest Management in Florida Cotton



Author: Joe Funderburk – jef@ufl.edu


Joe Funderburk

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/08/new-insect-and-mite-control-guide-for-florida-cotton-growers/

Silverleaf Whiteflies in Panhandle Cotton

Silverleaf Whiteflies in Panhandle Cotton

Sliverleaf whiteflies (SLWF), also known as sweet potato whiteflies, are a major pest in many cropping systems. The SLWF has a broad feeding range of over 600 host plants, which includes ornamental, vegetable, and field crops. This season, large populations of silverleaf whiteflies have been reported in in cotton in Georgia, Alabama, and now Florida’s Panhandle.

Whitefly adults and eggs (photo credit James Castner)

Females deposit eggs on the underside of leaves. Once an egg hatches, the first instar in the SLWF life cycle is referred to as a “crawler.” As the name implies, during this stage the immature instar will crawl on the leaf underside until selecting a location to feed. Once settled, the remaining stages of its life cycle are immobile until it reaches adulthood. Both the adult and immature SLWF have sucking mouthparts, which they use to feed on plant juices. SLWF excrete honeydew, a waste composed largely of sugars. This honeydew provides a perfect enviroment for sooty mold development on the leaf tissue, which can impact photosynthesis, as well as cause the cotton lint to stick together making it difficult to gin. Feeding damage from SLWF can also result in premature defoliation. SLWF populations will increase and pose a threat to cotton until it is defoliated or the leaves drop from feeding injury.

University of Georgia Extension Entomologist, Dr. Phillip Roberts published the article Georgia Cotton: Whitefly Infestations Across the State – What Can You Do? a few weeks ago.  The article discusses thresholds and other key management factors. A summary for most of his article can be found below. Dr. Ron Smith of Auburn University also published the article Silverleaf Whitefly Control in Cotton that also discusses SLWF management.

Scouting Summary:

When scouting cotton for SLWF, select the fifth mainstem leaf below the terminal to check for infestations. Sample at least 30 random plants in the field, avoid edges by moving at least 25 paces into the field and then keep selected plants about 10 paces apart. Treatment is recommended when 50 percent of sampled leaves have 5 or more immature crawlers. Keep in mind that late planted cotton has a higher risk for SLWF infestations, as well as hairy leaf varieties in comparison to those with a smooth leaf.

Whitefly nymphs and pupae (photo credit Lyle Buss)

Treatment Summary:

Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) such as Knack and Courier are the main component of SLWF management programs in cotton. Their effects on SLWF populations are generally slow due to the stages they target in the insect life cycle, but these types of products have long residual activity. With large infested areas across the southeast, certain products are becoming harder to obtain due to treatment demand. Other products with whitefly activity include Assail, Sivanto, and Venom which target all stages of the insect’s life cycle. Oberon is another product used, which treats primarily nymphs.

It is important to note the role beneficial insects play in the field. Natural enemies of the SLWF include lacewings, minute pirate bug, and some species of ladybug. These types of insects can be conserved by avoiding use of broad spectrum insecticides such as pyrethroids, unless other pest thresholds are reached. Pyrethroids can be identified by looking at the active ingredient listed on a product label, their common name will end in -thrin or –ate. Examples of these types of products include Bifenthrin, Karate, and Orthene.

For more information consult the following articles, or contact your local Extension Agent.

Georgia Cotton: Whitefly Infestations Across the State – What Can You Do?

Silverleaf Whitefly Control in Cotton



Author: Ethan Carter – ethancarter@ufl.edu

Ethan Carter is the Regional Row Crop IPM Agent in Jackson County. He earned his BS in Food and Resource Economics, and his MS in Agronomy, both from the University of Florida.

Ethan Carter

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/25/silverleaf-whiteflies-in-panhandle-cotton/

Cotton Marketing News: So Much for the 18-Million Bale Scenario and those Higher Prices

Cotton Marketing News:  So Much for the 18-Million Bale Scenario and those Higher Prices

Prior to this week’s USDA crop production estimates, the 2017 US cotton crop was projected at 19 million bales.  There seemed to be general consensus, given the crop conditions in parts of Texas, that the crop would not get bigger with this week’s report.  There was some belief that the crop is actually less than 19 million (more in the 18 million neighborhood) but that this may not be reflected yet in this week’s August numbers.

The revised crop estimate for August is now 20.55 million bales—1.55 million bales more than the July estimate.  Not only did the crop not hold at around 19 million bales but now, if we’re indeed going to eventually retreat to the 18 million bale mark, we’ve got another million and a half bales to cull through.

But, you know what, maybe not all is lost.  Apparently, quite a few farmers are looking at a potentially good crop and with any luck or good decisions on marketing and risk management, stand to possibly do relatively well.

The market certainly didn’t like this week’s numbers.  Dec futures had improved and trending up since mid-July—breaking back above 70 cents on August 2.  This week, prices danced around the 71-cent mark until yesterday’s report—dropping about 2 cents on the report and limit down 3 cents for the day.  Compared to the July projections, while the revised crop estimate was a shock, US 2017 crop year Ending Stocks are only ½ million bales higher than the July projection. This is because also in this month’s report:

  • Exports for the just completed 2016 crop year were adjusted up 420K bales—reducing carry-in stocks to the 2017 crop year.
  • Projected exports for the 2017 crop year were increased 700K bales—likely reflecting higher available export supply.

The crop is now estimated at 20.55 million bales on an average yield of 892 lbs per acre.  If realized, this would equal the record US average yield achieved in 2012.  Eight states are currently projected to have an average yield above last year.  Twelve states are expected to have a yield above their 5-year average (Cotton’s Week, National Cotton Council, August 11, 2017).

The August numbers are the first based on farmer survey for 2017.  Data collection (farmer responses) occurred from July 29 to August 3.  Also (for cotton only), actual plant counts and measurements were taken July 25 to August 1.

Crop conditions in Texas have declined over the growing season. Texas yield is projected at 742 lbs per acre compared to 749 last year—so essentially the same.  As of August 6 (after the yield survey data collection and plant measurements), the Texas crop condition was 3.30 compared to 3.19 last year at the same time.  The entire US crop is rated at 3.53 compared to 3.37 last year.  The Georgia crop (the second largest state is expected to yield 1,039 lbs per acre compared to 898 last year and 5-year average of 936.  If realized this would be 52 lbs below the record in 2012.

There is opinion that the USDA August estimate of 20.55 million bales will be reduced in future reports.  I’m not going to second-guess USDA.  The number is what it is and regardless of what one thinks about the number, the market will deal with it until something else comes along.

Elsewhere in yesterday’s report, on the foreign and World scene:

  • The China crop projection was increased ½ million bales and mill use increased by ½ million bales. Stocks were unchanged.
  • World use/demand for the 2017 crop year was increased a net 370K bales—due largely to the increase in China.
  • China imports remain and 5 million bales. Imports were revised up for Mexico, Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam—all major markets for US exports.
  • The projected India and Australia crops were unchanged from the July estimates.

After the report-induced decline, prices (Dec futures) now hover at the 68 cent level—washing out most of the gain since mid-July.  Prices could improve if crop conditions and yield outlook worsens—but like I said earlier, the market now has a 1½ million bale cushion it didn’t have before.

Some observers are convinced the US crop will only get smaller.  All we really know is that the market has to digest and make what it will of the 20.55 number for now.  If the September numbers continue to validate a 20+ million bale crop, then prices could decline further.  If the crop does get smaller, the 68 to 70 cent level or better should hold.





Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/19/cotton-marketing-news-so-much-for-the-18-million-bale-scenario-and-those-higher-prices/

Background and Summary of Recent Cotton Policy Developments

Background and Summary of Recent Cotton Policy Developments

Photo by Judy Biss

Don Shurley
Cotton Economist/Professor Emeritus of Cotton Economics

Under the 2014 farm bill, cotton is not a “covered commodity” and not eligible for the ARC and PLC programs. Cotton’s “safety net” is STAX but STAX has not been as well utilized and accepted by growers as expected.

One objective of the farm bill is to provide an income safety net for production agriculture. The provisions of this “safety net” are spelled out mostly in what we call the Title I portion of the farm bill legislation. Cotton, with exception of the Marketing Loan, is no longer included in Title I and, compared to covered commodities like corn, soybeans, and peanuts, is at a risk management disadvantage.

One of the things that the 2014 farm bill did do was to convert the cotton base on a farm to Generic Base. If a farm has Generic Base, acres planted to covered commodities on that farm can be “assigned” to the Generic Base for that year and become temporary base acres of that covered commodity in addition to the permanent base of covered commodities on that farm. So, this gave value to the cotton base on a farm and acres planted and earning temporary base are eligible for any ARC or PLC payment—but this did nothing for cotton specifically.

The current farm bill is now in its 4th year and will expire with the 2018 crop year unless extended. Over the past several years, cotton’s unfavorable policy position has been at the forefront and industry leadership has sought ways to improve the income safety net for cotton producers. Policy options have included interim measures to bridge the gap until a new farm bill is in place and also efforts to get cotton back in Title I of the next farm bill.

A major industry emphasis has been including and designating cottonseed as an “Other Oilseed” within Title I of the current farm bill and thus making it eligible for PLC. Such an attempt was unsuccessful last year when then Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack concluded that he lacked authority to make such a designation under the 2014 farm bill and that other provisions of the farm bill also made such a designation unworkable.

An industry, legislative, and administrative effort that has provided some relief was the Cotton Ginning Cost Share Program (CGCS). A 1-time lump sum payment was made to producers in 2016 based on 2015 cotton acres planted as reported to FSA. This payment was equal to an estimated 40% of the average cost of ginning by region. The payment to Georgia producers was $ 47.44 per acre and subject to a limit of $ 40,000 per person or legal entity. This payment was not subject to a budget sequestration reduction.

Cotton leadership has continued to push both the cottonseed proposal and additional years of the CGCS Program. I believe these attempts have been aimed at searching for ways to get a cottonseed deal done and get cotton producers some help now rather than risk that in a new farm bill which is still 2 years down the road.

In May, however, efforts to get a cottonseed policy included in the FY17 Omnibus spending bill fell short and cottonseed was not included. That bill did, however, direct USDA to within 60 days come up with solutions to help cotton producers.

Recent developments have been more positive and encouraging. On July 12th, the House Appropriations Committee approved its FY18 Ag Appropriations bill which included language encouraging USDA to provide for a cottonseed program and/or operate the CGCS Program for 2016 and future years. On July 20th, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its FY18 Ag Appropriations bill that also included language supporting a cottonseed policy beginning with the 2018 crop.

On July 18th, 2 bipartisan Congressional letters from the House (109 members signed) and the Senate (26 members signed) were sent to President Trump requesting his Administration use the authority and through USDA to reinstate the CGCS Program for the 2016 crop and to continue it in an on-going basis for the 2017 and 2018 crops until a new farm bill is in place. On July 17th, a letter was sent to President Trump signed by over 1,600 lenders, agribusinesses, and rural businesses urging him to support the CGCS Program.

No legislation has been enacted at this time nor any decision made by the Administration yet. These industry and Congressional efforts are ongoing. The CGCS Program is seen as providing an important “bridge” to help cotton producers, their families, and rural communities until the cotton policy situation can be addressed in a longer term manner within the next farm bill. A cottonseed policy is seen as a possible way to get cotton back into Title I under the current farm bill, improve the safety net for the cotton enterprise, and strengthen cotton’s position and support going into the next farm bill.

Discussion surrounding a cottonseed policy, and cotton in general, and the benefits of a cottonseed policy will depend on many things including:

  • Assuming any cottonseed payments would be made on 85% or some portion of Base Acres, how would cottonseed base acres be determined from Generic Base?
  • Would, and if how, will the establishment of cotton/cottonseed base impact the acreage of other crop bases on a farm?
  • How would a cottonseed PLC Payment be determined—how would a Reference Price, Payment Yield, and the Payment Rate be determined?
  • For Georgia especially, because peanuts are so valuable under the current farm bill, what are the implications of losing Generic Base (or swapping GB for cottonseed base) and will there be any change in the Reference Price for peanuts?
  • Ultimately, what will be the implications of a cottonseed policy for the remainder of this farm bill on cotton/cottonseed and other bases in the next farm bill?

In summary, having cottonseed designated as an “Other Oilseed” and the Cotton Ginning Cost Share Program (CGCS) are seen as ways to improve cotton’s safety net under the current farm bill which expires effective with the 2018 crop year. There are also efforts to get cotton (lint) included in the next farm bill but specifics on what that program would look like are still being worked out. Cotton industry leadership will continue to pursue the best policy to provide growers with adequate protection that is consistent with the needs of the industry while taking into account the full value of the cotton crop—which produces both fiber and seed.

There has been mention that debate for the next farm bill could include planted acres vs base acres. This is because in some instances there is quite a difference between acres planted and base acres of that crop on a farm. In the 2014 farm bill, landowners made a 1-time election to “retain or reallocate” the bases of covered commodities on a farm. Cotton base was retained as is and became Generic Base.

While it may seem illogical to define the safety net and make related payments on base acres rather than acres actually planted, historically this has been done because (1) there are restrictions within WTO regarding payments having an impact on production and (2) making payments on base acres is much more predictable and manageable from a budget standpoint.

Appreciation is expressed to the Georgia Cotton Commission for partial funding support.
Appreciation is also expressed to the National Cotton Council, Southern Cotton Growers, and the Georgia Cotton Commission for helpful review and comment.


Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/29/background-and-summary-of-recent-cotton-policy-developments/

Cotton Marketing News: Prices Continue to Flounder in New, Lower Range

Cotton Marketing News: Prices Continue to Flounder in New, Lower Range

Don Shurley, Cotton Economist, UGA Emeritus Professor

This week’s USDA crop production and supply and demand estimates for July did little to correct the direction in prices.  The report was actually not bad, but prices continue to show no improvement.  The following are highlights from the report:

  • The 2017 projected US crop was lowered 200,000 bales to 19.0 million bales. This was based on the new June 30 Acreage report of estimated acres actually planted. Abandonment remains at 7%; the US average yield was increased from 810 to 816 lbs per acre.   Next month’s report will be the first for the 2017 crop to have survey-based estimates for yield and acres to be harvested.
  • Compared to last month’s estimates, World production for 2017 was raised 630,000 bales. This would be almost 9 million bales more than last year.
  • India production was raised from 28 to 29 million bales. This would be 2 million bales more than last year. India is a major exporter when they have supplies to do so.  Exports for the 2017 crop year are projected at 4.2 million bales compared to 4.3 last year—despite higher carry-in and higher production.  India’s own mill use is expected to be up compared to last year but ending stocks would grow by almost 1 ½ million bales.  Keep an eye on India—what happens there will impact prices.
  • Projected World use/demand for the 2017 crop year was increased roughly ½ million bales to just over 117 million bales. This is the second consecutive increase in the projection since the first estimate back in May and, if realized, would be 2.9% growth from last year.
  • Projected imports by China for the 2017 crop year remain at 5 million bales—the same as the 2016 crop year. Imports for Pakistan, Thailand, and Mexico were raised from the June estimate; Vietnam was revised down from the June number.
  • No changes to the China numbers from the June estimates.

In this week’s report, USDA changed the projected price range for the 2017 crop from 54 to 74 cents to 54 to 68 cents.  This could be interpreted to mean that downside price risk is now viewed the same but upside potential is lessened.

Prices (Dec futures) now seem likely to move in a range of mostly 66 to 69, maybe 70 cents.  Export sales have slowed; shipments for the 7-day period ending July 6th were 208,800 bales compared to 315,800 for the prior period.  Shipments now total 13.81 million bales with 3 weeks remaining to reach the USDA projection of 14.5 million bales.

Crop conditions for the week ending July 9th showed that 51% of the Texas crop is rated good to excellent compared to 41% a week earlier.

This market will likely move on US crop conditions and the quantity and availability of export supplies here and abroad.







Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/14/cotton-marketing-news-prices-continue-to-flounder-in-new-lower-range/

Cotton Marketing News: What Happened to Cotton Acres?

Cotton Marketing News: What Happened to Cotton Acres?

Don Shurley, Cotton Economist, UGA Emeritus Professor

Last week’s USDA Acreage report did not deliver as expected.  The market (Dec futures) initially reacted upward but seemingly has now re-established its pre-report bearish tone.  These are cautious and confusing times for producers who seek to manage risk in this topsy-turvy market.

I may be wrong but I believe the general consensus was that last Friday’s Acreage report, for a number of reasons, would show actual cotton acres planted to be higher than shown in the Planting Intentions report back in March.  Well, by now you probably know that was not the case.

Compared to planting intentions, actual acres planted are equal to or higher in 14 of 17 states.  The 3 exceptions are Arkansas, Texas, and Virginia.  Overall, 2017 acreage is estimated to be 19.7% more than last year but 178,000 acres less than what was reported as planting intentions back in March.

This 178,000 acres may not seem like much—but when you consider that most analysts were expecting an increase in acres compared to the March number, then US cotton acres are easily ½ million acres less than what was expected.  THAT is not an insignificant number.

Of the numbers shown here, I want to focus a little bit on Texas and Georgia.  Texas, because it’s well, Texas, and Georgia because of other issues of interest related to cotton acreage.

Even with the lower actual acreage number, Texas still figures to plant 16.8% more than last year.  Information coming out of Texas seems to suggest the crop right now is a real “mish-mash”—it depends on where you are, when you got planted, the timing and impact of rain or the lack thereof since planting, and the impact of more recent rain and storms.  Some acreage has been replanted, some not.  Rain has helped in some situations but wind and hail damage are also reported.

Looking at some of the crops in Texas, actual acres planted was less than planting intentions for 5 of the 6.  Simply on the basis of these numbers, there appears to have been no shift from cotton to other crops.  It could be that the March intentions number was just high or it could be that “statistically” there’s no difference between the two—that both are within the sampling error confidence interval of the other.

In Georgia, cotton acreage is projected to be 1.35 million acres—50,000 acres higher than the March estimate and 170,000 acres higher than last year.  This is not unexpected.  Acres planted in the Southeast (AL, FL, GA, NC, SC, and VA) is estimated at 2.565 million acres—100,000 acres higher than intentions and 394,000 acres more than last year.

In Georgia, peanut acreage planted is estimated at 850,000 acres—65,000 acres more than intentions and 130,000 more than last year.  If realized, this would be the highest acreage since 1991 and also 65,000 more than in 2015—the first full crop year under the new farm bill with its “temporary base” for covered commodities planted and assigned to Generic Base.

Cotton and peanuts are the only major row crops in Georgia with increased plantings this year.  With increased peanuts, concerns rise about shorter crop rotation—but note total acres planted to these 6 crops is up 160,000 acres from last year; additional land brought into row crops or from other crops not shown.

The Planting Intentions report is based on a survey conducted late February through mid-March. The Acreage report is based on a survey conducted early to mid-June.  During the period for the March survey, cotton prices (Dec futures) were on the increase and mostly 74 to 75 cents.  Prices then declined but rallied back during April and were mostly 72 to 75 cents during planting time.  Prices did not fall off the cliff (below 72 cents) until after most of the crop would have been planted and too late to replant or plant to another crop.

Prices were in a downtrend during May and mostly 72 to 73 cents during the Acreage survey period—but this is not likely enough to sway acreage and, as mentioned, no increase to other crops is reflected in the previous table.

As far as the outlook is concerned, it looks like prices are trying to “stabilize” around 67 cents.  I think last week’s numbers now add even more uncertainty to the overall situation.  Weekly crop condition reports, especially from Texas, will be looked at closely.

The July crop production and supply and demand estimates come out on the 12th.  The July numbers will use the new acres planted number of 12.055 but the estimate of acres to be harvested and yield will still be based on historical average but adjusted to reflect current conditions in the Southwest.  The August report will be the first to provide survey-based estimates of acres planted, to be harvested, and yield.

The present and ongoing agronomic uncertainty could provide support for the market and even provide some good reasons for improved prices as we proceed.  The present uncertainty could help solidify support in the 67 to 68-cent area until the August numbers come out.  The August numbers will then either confirm/support where the market is at the time or send us higher or lower.








Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/08/cotton-marketing-news-what-happened-to-cotton-acres/

Has Excess Rain Affected your Cotton Fertility Program?

Has Excess Rain Affected your Cotton Fertility Program?

Michael J. Mulvaney, UF/IFAS Soil Specialist & Glen Harris, UGA Soil Specialist

If you’re like me, you’re watching this rain and wondering where your nutrients are in the soil profile.  The Jay FAWN station has recorded almost 20″ of rain so far in June.  Last week we talked about peanut gypsum application, but this week we’d like to talk about cotton.

Nitrogen (N)

If you applied at-plant N, you might want to re-apply some of it, if you’ve had leaching rainfall events this season.  For BMP purposes, you should document the amount of rainfall to show that leaching likely occurred on your soils.  If you only apply one application at first square, you likely haven’t applied any N yet this season – so there’s still time for you.

To see if you are N deficient, there are commercial cotton petiole tests available from public and private labs in the Southeast. See http://aesl.ces.uga.edu/FeeSchedule/Complete.pdf for more information.  You can also sample representative areas for the youngest fully mature leaf (without petiole).  The leaf tissue N should be in the range of 3.5 to 4.5% N for sufficiency.

Potassium (K)

Those of you on deep sand or soils with no subsoil clay within the top 20 inches should think about K as well.  Modern cotton cultivars have higher K demand than N demand, and K is susceptible to leaching, particularly on very sandy soils.  If you are on deep, sandy soils, you probably already know that you should split your K applications at planting and topdress. Cotton K demand can exceed 3 lbs K2O per acre per day during flowering. Peak K demand comes during flowering and boll set, so K deficiency during this period can lead to boll shed, reduced lint quality, and/or reduced yield.

Source: O. Abaye. 2009. Potassium Fertilization of Cotton. Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 418-025

K deficiency in cotton shows up as bronzing of leaves and is affiliated with increased Stemphylium disease, as seen below.

Potassium deficiency in cotton appears as bronzing of the leaves. Photo: M. Mulvaney

Oftentimes, we have sufficient soil K according to soil test results, but drought conditions leads to a lack of K in soil water and the plant can’t take it up.  There is still plenty of time for that to happen.  But so far this year, it’s likely to be the opposite problem on deep, sandy soils: K has leached from the rooting zone after you’ve taken your soil samples.

Boron (B)

Boron also leaches easily from sandy soils.  If you are concerned about boron, and you are making a fungicide application at first bloom for Target Spot control, you can consider adding 0.3-0.5 lbs B as a tank mix.  Boron deficiency in cotton is more evident in younger leaf tissue and shows up as stunted or disfigured terminal growing points and shorter, thicker petioles with “coon tailing” visible on the petioles.

Boron deficiency in cotton with “coon tailing” visible on the petioles. Photo credit: Darrin Dodds & Bobby Golden, Mississippi State University

For more information related to this subject, use the following publication link:

Cotton Cultural Practices and Fertility Management



Author: Michael Mulvaney – m.mulvaney@ufl.edu

Cropping Systems Specialist, University of Florida, West Florida Research and Education Center, Jay, FL. Follow me @TheDirtDude

Michael Mulvaney

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/07/03/has-excess-rain-affected-your-cotton-fertility-program/

Cotton Marketing News: December Numbers May Contain Hidden Stocking Stuffers

Cotton Marketing News:  December Numbers May Contain Hidden Stocking Stuffers

shurley-12-9-16-headerDon Shurley, Cotton Economist, UGA Professor Emeritus

My kids, and now grandkids, seem to enjoy the cheap, unexpected surprises in their Christmas stocking as much as anything.  USDA’s December crop production and supply/demand estimates were as expected, in some respects, but contain a few things that maybe can be viewed as unexpected and positive.

Prices (March futures) continue to track in a range of mostly 70 to 72 ½ cents, but I sense cautiousness in the market.  Today’s close at 70.8 cents is the lowest since mid-November.shurley-futures-chart-12-9-16

The US crop is now projected at 16.52 million bales—up 360,000 bales from the November estimate.  This is due largely to a nearly ½ million bale increase in the Texas crop, but offset somewhat by an additional 150,000 bale reduction in the Carolinas and Virginia crops.

Compared to the November estimates, yield and production were increased in 7 states, and reduced in 4 states.  The Georgia crop was unchanged at 915 lbs per acre and total production of 2.25 million bales.  Production loss in the Carolinas and Virginia is estimated at almost ¼ million bales.

The eventual US crop is still uncertain.  The last USDA report showed the Texas crop as 71% harvested as of Nov 27th.  Further news has been that cold weather and continued harvest progress have been concerns since then.

US exports for the 2016 crop year were raised 200,000 bales to 12.2 million bales.  I am wary of this increase, as this will require us to pick up the amount and pace of exports in a market that seems to slow down when cotton is above 70 cents. Also, Australia is expected to increase production and exports.

World production was raised almost 1 million bales compared to the November estimate—due mainly to higher estimates for the US and Australia.  India, Pakistan, and China are unchanged.

World Use/demand is projected at 111.91 million bales—down slightly from the November estimate.  While the reduction is ever so slight, this marks the second consecutive month that Use has been adjusted down (Use was projected at 112 million bales in October).  If realized, this would still be .6% above last season, but not the more robust kind of growth cotton needs to see.shurley-world-use-12-9-16

On a positive note, mill use in China was increased ¼ million bales to 35.75 mb.  If realized, this would be the highest since 2012—still not the China we would like to see, but any increase is good, if it eventually leads to more US exports.  We need to keep an eye on US-China political tensions and any trade implications.

India Use was reduced ¼ million bales, but Vietnam imports and Use were both increased 200,000 bales.

Factors, some of them discussed here, are out there that could push prices back to 72-73 cents, but I don’t know that I would risk more than 20 to 25%, maybe one-third at the most, of my crop on that possibility.  Basis and fiber quality premiums in the Southeast continue strong and offer good cash market opportunity even with futures prices at current levels.

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Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/12/17/cotton-marketing-news-december-numbers-may-contain-hidden-stocking-stuffers/

Cotton Marketing News: 2016 Situation Update and 2017 Crop Outlook

Cotton Marketing News:  2016 Situation Update and 2017 Crop Outlook

shurley-header-11-18-16The 2016 US crop may still be somewhat of a question mark but USDA’s November numbers provided clarity on a few things—the crop got smaller in some areas as expected and the crop still got bigger overall.

The North Carolina and South Carolina crops were reduced by a total of 95,000 bales.  The Georgia crop is now closer to being correct after being reduced 150,000 bales and the crop could get a bit smaller in all 3 instances.  But these reductions totaling almost ¼ million bales were more than offset by increases in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.

US exports are projected at 12 million bales—unchanged from the October estimate.  This is a good level of exports considering that China is expected to limit imports for the second consecutive year.  As of Nov 10, export sales this marketing year total approximately 7.0 million 480-lb equivalent bales—58% of the USDA estimate.  This compares to 47% at this time last year.  Shipments total 2.55 million or 21% of the estimate.  To date, the pace of shipments projects to only 9.2 million bales for the marketing year—but shipments were 17% at this time last year.

China is expected to import (from all sources) 4.5 million bales this crop year compared to 4.41 million last year.  As of 11/10, US export shipments to China totaled approximately 264,400 bales.  Sales totaled approximately 910,000 bales or 20% of China’s expected total imports.

This month’s USDA numbers lowered World cotton Use or demand just slightly to 111.99 million bales.  In the big picture, this number itself is insignificant.  But psychologically, this nervous market will pay close attention to this number.   This is only .65% above last year and less than 2% growth since 2013.

One issue is the “price problem” or loss of market share to man-made fibers due to substitution at the mill.  Other issues are “structural” and reflect change in consumer preference and buying patterns.  Also, part of the decline may be due to cotton production viewed by some as not environmentally friendly and sustainable.  Research, education, and promotion are on-going to improve cotton’s image and develop new fabrics that appeal to the consumer.  These are longer-term solutions, however.

In the near term, if prices are to sustain themselves at the current level or improve, demand must show stability and growth.  Otherwise, price direction will be largely dictated by the supply side—production and production shocks.

USDA’s November projections revised 2016 crop year World ending stocks up by almost 1 million bales.  This was largely the result of a 300K bale increase in beginning stocks (carry-in from the 2015 crop year) and 590K increase in production.  The increase in carry-in was due to revisions in production and Use from the 2015 crop year.  Higher production is now projected for India along with the US—although the India increase is now questionable.  The China crop stands at 21 million bales compared to 22 million last year and 30 million in 2014.

shurley-11-21-16-chartChina will have another round of reserve sales in 2017.  Sales exceeded 12 million bales in 2016.  Sales, plus lower production, and stable/slight increase in Use is projected to trim total stocks by 10.1 million bales by end of the 2016 crop year.

Questions are whether or not reserve sales and pace of sales will match that of this year and whether or not, as sales dig deeper into the stockpile, fiber quality will become a factor.


March 17 futures advanced sharply this week, based on cold weather forecast here in the US, and on reports that both the China and India crops may be lowered.  Prices are back above 70 cents—giving growers a good pricing opportunity.  Opinion is already circulating that US acreage will be up for 2017.  December 17 futures are also slightly above 70 cents—representing an early risk-management opportunity on at least a small portion of expected production.

Don Shurley – donshur@uga.edu

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Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu


Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/12/03/cotton-marketing-news-2016-situation-update-and-2017-crop-outlook/

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