Yesterday, March 31, USDA released the much anticipated “Prospective Plantings” report. This is one of many planting intentions reports, but is usually the one quoted the most. Southeast Farm Press and Cotton Grower Magazine both have good articles on overall US cotton acreage shown in the report. Here we will just discuss the acre report for GA.
Below is a chart of the prospective plantings for GA for the 4 major row crops.
Most reports only show the % change from the previous year. Here we present the data in actual acre change. As expected, GA growers plan to plant more cotton this year than last year, 20,000 acre more. The 55,000 acre reduction in peanuts and 5,000 acre reduction in soybeans are offset by the 60,000 acre increase in corn. Thus, the 20,000 acre gain in cotton acres shows as an overall increase of 20,000 of row crops planted from 2015 to 2016. It is important to remember that these are just the planting intentions of growers surveyed during February. Market conditions between February and when the grower actually plants can change dramatically. Anecdotal reports suggest that the soybean planting intentions number is too high. Given that corn is currently being planted and that an increase in peanuts is not likely to happen, a reduction in soybean acres should spur an increase in actual cotton acres planted.