No. 1 Influencer For 2013 Cotton Acres

As producers across the Belt wrap up their 2012 harvest, they are already contemplating how many acres they intend to plant to cotton in 2013.

According to 82 percent of the respondents in the October Web Poll, price is by far the top influencer in the decision-making process. And, as grain prices remain at high levels, producers who have the option of growing other crops are keeping their eyes on those numbers, too.

Although price is clearly the front- runner in this poll, 11 percent of those who voted say rotation benefits will most influence their 2013 cotton acreage, while seven percent are taking into consideration the status of the new Farm Bill.

Following is a sampling of the many remarks that we received from the Web Poll respondents who shared their thoughts about how they voted.

• “The price plus the lack of rainfall will surely be the biggest factor in determining cotton acreage for our dryland farm in south Texas. Our area has still not received adequate rain to replenish the underground moisture and that almost ensures a short crop. Of course, we are still a few months away from planting season.”

• “Price will dictate my crop mix. However, I won’t only be influenced by cotton price. Wheat price and peanut price will help me make that decision.”

• “We will cut back probably 20 to 30 percent because the price of the other crops in eastern North Carolina definitely have a brighter probable return over cotton. We will not cut back more than that because when the bears are in every corner somehow the bull can still appear.”

• “Rotation is a close second to price.”

• “I have cotton equipment and am too old to invest in a combine, trucks and grain carts, so I will stay with cotton regardless of the other factors. Maybe I’ll go bankrupt because I don’t have enough sense to quit!”

• “Resistant pigweed is a problem in west Texas.”

• “None of the above! In the Lubbock south dryland area, we only have three crops that are profitable to plant: COTTON, COTTON and COTTON!!!! We have tried many other crops, but none will work. We can plant cotton and work it about as cheap as we can clean till. We will plant cotton as this is our only choice.” – Jerry Harris

• “Price is simply the driving force. While we would MUCH prefer to have cotton on our land, the price affects our decision, especially considering the price of corn and soybeans.”

• “My landlord owns a cotton gin and that is the driving factor on my choice for cotton. I am also a dryland farmer in the Lubbock area. That alone is why I will plant cotton next year. Milo will not make enough on dryland to justify planting it.”

In this month’s Web Poll, we will move away from production topics and delve into the political arena. Once the races have been decided and a president has been chosen, cotton farmers have to assess the political roster and try to determine if it will have a positive or negative effect on cotton.

As Texas cotton farmer Ronnie Hopper noted in the October “My Turn” column, “We are in a fierce battle during this election season, and the turmoil will not cease after the November election.”

Go to to cast your vote and share your comments. Please include your location, so that readers can get a better sense of what cotton farmers in different areas are expecting following the elections. Results of the November poll will be reported in the December issue of Cotton Farming.

Web Poll Results

Which factor will most influence your cotton acreage in 2013 and why?

• Price – 82 %

• Rotation benefits – 11 %

• Status of the new Farm Bill – 7 %

November Web Poll Question

Do you think the outcome of the November 2012 elections will have a positive or negative effect on cotton and why?

(1) Positive effect

(2) Negative effect
Register your vote at

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