Cotton sees an increase in acreage, but a decline in mills

Despite weather concerns, cotton planting is expected to increase by 4% this year, totaling to over ten million acres.

According to Dr. Seth Meyer, Chief Economist for the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), even with the recent perk up in prices, he doesn’t see that being the reason for the growth.

“Margins for cotton are going to be as tight as anything. Any other crops as well too, but I think we do see the fact that we know are looking at some locations in the southeast saying they are going to plant some additional acres. It’s not a move in Texas area planted there is actually expected to be down a little bit. But when we think about Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, some other places are showing up in the Big 5 states, showing some decent year over year increases. “
Dr. Seth Meyer, USDA Chief Economist

The increase in predicted acreage comes as Bloomberg reports what they call an unrelenting and accelerating decline in manufacturing demand. In 1893, there were nearly 900 cotton mills in the U.S. Now that number is around 100, with eight closing in the last half of 2023 alone. The analyst warns with domestic textile manufacturing nearly gone, cotton farmers could have trouble finding a buyer for this year’s harvest.

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