Sunday, February 5, 2023

Icy Factors Set Up Wintry Cotton Market

carroll smith
Carroll Smith,
Editor

In football, “icing the kicker” is a ploy the opposing teams’ coaches have used for years in clutch field goal situations. It involves calling a time out either before the kicking team sets up, right after they set up or right before the ball is snapped. The objective is to slow down the momentum and force some downtime for the kicker to reflect on whether he can follow through and put some points on the board.

Although a clutch field goal and an opposing coach are not part of the picture in the world of cotton, several factors are in place in 2023 that may potentially ice the cotton market. According to Yangxuan Liu, University of Georgia economist, this could result in a year of winter for cotton producers. Check out her discussion of these components in the cover story on page 6.

But even though Liu is predicting a wintry market scenario for the first three quarters of the year, she has a more optimistic outlook for the fourth quarter. The Georgia economist also offers some tips worth considering for producers to successfully navigate their way through the 2023 “winter” in cotton farming.

While Liu tackles these cotton marketing aspects, on page 12, our state specialists discuss variety selection, which is one of the most critical decisions producers have to make. Farmers must prepare now to kick off the 2023 season and hopefully go into the fall with a successful crop to gather.

As Arkansas cotton specialist Bill Robertson says, “Each variety has its strengths and weaknesses. The challenge is to identify these characteristics and adjust management strategies to enhance strengths while minimizing weaknesses. Once planted, no amount of effort can make up for a poor decision.”

With an eye on the fourth quarter, Liu says, “the winter ice in the cotton market could start to melt during the cotton harvest in 2023.” If this proves true, producers want to make the best variety selections for their farms to be in a position to take advantage of this forecast later on. 

Here’s wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year!

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