The prospective plantings report from USDA for U.S. cotton came out Wednesday, according to Swiss Financial Services Cotton Market Analyst Mike Stevens says there were no real surprises. The USDA show that as of March 31 cotton planting intentions increasing 15% in the US which is right in line with expectations at 10.5 million acres. All cotton plantings in 2010 are expected to total 10.5, total upland acreages are 10.3. Growers intended to increase planted acreage in all states except Ark, Kan, and Louisiana. The largest acreage increase is in Texas where producers intend to plant 600,000 more acres than in 2009.
Stevens says the big question that remains is how the prospective increased acreage will affect cotton prices down the road. We’re looking at a shortage going into the new crop, certainly with a 10% we can produce 16 plus million bales. But getting from old crop to new crop is going to be a problem right now. However, also merchants with inventories are going to be eyeing that big discount going into new crop, so look for a lot of new cotton to be offered on the market internationally in the next couple of months.
Stevens says it will be a big year for weather scares.
According to USDA - the nation’s growers plan to plant 88.8-million acres to corn this year. That’s a three-percent increase from 2009 and 2008. But as National Corn Growers Association President Darrin Ihnen notes - that really doesn’t come as a big surprise. Some of their early estimates out this winter show that our acres are going to be up compared to 2009, and the report confirms that. So, what that’s telling our end users is that we’re going to have plenty of product for them, shows that farmers have confidence in growing corn with the new technologies, growing corn on corn and we’re doing the sustainable land, and I guess this just reaffirms it.
Assuming a traditional 91-percent harvest rate and the USDA’s projected yield of 164.9 bushels per acre - Ihnen says farmers would again produce a record crop - growing just over 13.3-billion bushels on 80.8-million acres. But he says those results are more a reflection on the technology available to growers and modern farming practices than the relatively minor increase in acreage. If you look at our acres, they’ve been relatively flat, sure, there’s a little boost this year, but you get these little ups and downs, but overall acreage has stayed flat. Where we’re getting the bigger yields and bigger crops is higher yield per acre, not because we’re planting more acres every year.
Technology - Ihnen says - also helps the nation’s corn growers overcome weather challenges. Many growers are facing a difficult planting season - and one never knows what Mother Nature has in store for the growing season - but Ihnen points out that’s certainly not a new concern.