Despite adverse weather events across the Belt this year, are producers still optimistic about 2010?
The profit picture for 2010 isn’t great, but it’s something that we can probably live with. One of the factors that moved farmers away from cotton a couple of years ago was $6 corn. We don’t see that out there right now, and that’s why I think a lot of farmers are seriously looking at going back to cotton next year. The ag lenders will have some suggestions on this kind of switch and rightfully so. They also have a big stake in this.
I am certainly optimistic about 2010 – more so than I was last year at this time. Even though southern Texas was severely affected by drought this year, we are putting away a lot of good moisture right now with timely rains. We didn’t even gin one bale in 2009. That’s how bad it was. We’re not where we need to be yet on soil moisture, but we’re getting better and have hopes of being ready for planting season.
Cooperative, Greenwood, Miss.
I’m seeing that optimism at the gins and among producers in a very specific way. For Staplcotn, as a marketing
company, we’ve been extremely busy signing up producers for next year. We’ve even seen producers who haven’t grown cotton in three years putting in 1,000 acres when they sign up. There is a reasonable potential for cotton acres to double in Mississippi next year. Obviously, a single seed hasn’t been put into the ground, and market conditions in the spring will dictate everything. The biggest reason for the increase is probably the New York futures contract improving so much.
Extension Farm Advisor
Even though we don’t have the strength in market forces that we’d like in California, we do see a trend for increased cotton acreage in the 2010 season. We anticipate an increase in Acala, but particularly in Pima acres. Even though the Pima prices aren’t that strong, they are still stronger than they have been in recent years. We’re also seeing an increase in demand for Pima, and that is motivating producers to increase their plantings.
Colorado City, Texas
I think you’ll definitely see an increase in cotton acreage in Texas next year. The price environment is starting to improve compared to grain prices, and that should encourage producers to move more acres into cotton. We’ve also received enough rain recently to improve our soil moisture profile. When you add all of these elements together, we can see some light at the end of the tunnel. That gives me a lot of hope. At the moment, we’re still trying to finish harvesting this year’s crop, which is extremely late because of the weather.