Cotton growers make room for more corn and wheat
Battered by drought and rising costs, U.S. cotton growers will devote more of their land to corn, wheat and soybeans — crops that promise higher revenue this year — while sharply reducing their cotton plantings, said a survey released on Sunday. The National Cotton Council said its survey of growers indicated 11.4 million acres will be planted to cotton this spring, 17 percent less than last year.
Smallest U.S. cotton crop in 13 years due to drought
U.S. cotton growers will harvest a drought-shortened crop of 12.57 million bales, their smallest since 2009, according to the USDA's monthly Crop Production report. Texas, the No. 1 producer, would account for nearly all of the nearly 5-million-bale decline in production from last year.
Pandemic casts shadow on sunny cotton outlook
Global demand for cotton would reach an all-time high this year, thanks to the economic resurgence from the pandemic that has driven cotton prices to their highest level in a decade, said the National Cotton Council on Sunday. Despite the sunny outlook, prospects for this year's crop are clouded by rising production costs, supply chain disruptions and uncertainties about future impacts of Covid-19.
What should Arizona farmers grow? A tire company hopes it’s guayule.
For decades, leaders [in the Southwest] have sought a way to equitably share what’s left of the shrinking supply, but there has always been one stubborn sticking point: Farmers consume three-quarters of the region’s precious water, often to grow thirsty, inedible crops like cotton and hay. Many of them have been here for a century or more, and they aren’t about to leave. So, why can’t they grow something that sucks less water?(No paywall)
Low market prices mean less land planted to cotton, says survey
U.S. cotton growers plan to reduce plantings by 5 percent this spring because of lingering low prices caused by the pandemic, said the National Cotton Council on Thursday at its annual meeting.
‘Outstanding’ conditions point to bumper crops, huge corn and soy stockpiles
U.S. farmers are looking at their largest corn crop ever and a near-record soybean harvest, with huge stockpiles of both crops persisting into fall 2021, said the USDA on Wednesday. Some 2.8 billion bushels of corn would remain in the bin when next year's crop is mature, the largest carry-over since the Reagan era.
Appellate court backs EPA on dicamba phase-out
The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected an emergency motion for an immediate cutoff of farmer use of the weedkiller dicamba, a victory for the EPA plan to allow spraying of the herbicide on GE soybeans and cotton through July 31. The court voided EPA approval of versions of dicamba sold by Bayer, BASF and Corteva on June 3; a few days later, the EPA said farmers could use stocks already on the farm through the end of July.
USDA releases additional $3.6 billion in Trump tariff payments
With the Sino-U.S. trade war unresolved, the Trump administration released $3.625 billion in trade-war payments to farmers and ranchers on Friday to offset losses on 2019 production. Payments will begin this week and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said they "will give farmers, who have had a tough year due to unfair trade retaliation and natural disasters, much needed funds in time for Thanksgiving.”
Potentially more profitable, cotton takes over soybean ground
Cotton growers plan to expand their plantings by a sharp 3 percent this spring, taking away land from soybeans, the most prominent casualty of the Sino-U.S. trade war, said the National Cotton Council over the weekend. Meanwhile, the USDA said the soybean stockpile will double in size by the time this year's crop is ready to harvest, creating the largest "carryover" ever.
Hurricane Michael wallops Georgia cotton, pecans and poultry
For Georgia farmers, Hurricane Michael is "the most widespread and devastating hurricane in recollection," said state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. More than 92 poultry barns, housing more than 2 million birds, were destroyed; cotton growers suffered massive losses; and pecan growers lost trees for the third year in a row to a hurricane.
Disruption in U.S. cotton and soy exports loom due to trade war
One of the world's largest grain companies warned of a "skinny export season" for U.S. soybeans and an intergovernmental body said the United States might need to seek new markets for its cotton due to President Trump's trade war with China. Meanwhile, the Trump administration threatened on Wednesday to put 25-percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports as leverage for reform.
Cotton industry targets Senate limits on farm subsidies
The House and Senate made relatively few changes to the farm program in passing separate versions of the new farm bill. The next step is to reconcile differences in the bills, and the cotton industry's desire to protect its subsidies is just one of a long list of likely flashpoints.
Cotton growers to get up to $40,000 each in USDA stop-gap payments
For the second time, the Agriculture Department will give cotton growers up to $40,000 each to offset low market prices, with payments keyed to the local cost of separating cotton fiber from its seed. The new cotton ginning cost-share payments will cover the 2016 crop. The USDA offered $300 million in aid for 2015 cotton when the Obama administration created the supposed one-time assistance.
Study: GE crops not driving herbicide-resistant weeds, but still cause for concern
In a new study, published in the December 2017 issue of the journal Weed Science, University of Wyoming weed scientist Andrew Kniss finds that GE corn does not produce increased herbicide resistance in weeds relative to non-GE crops, but that soybean and cotton plantings do — but only to a limited extent. (No paywall)
Dicamba blamed for damage to oak trees in Midwest and South
State officials in Illinois, Iowa and Tennessee have received hundreds of complaints blaming the weedkiller dicamba for damage to oak trees this summer, says the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting (MCIR). Usage of dicamba — and complaints of crop damage — has increased with the release of soybean and cotton varieties genetically modified to tolerate doses of the chemical.
Cotton prices sink as global production booms
Cotton production is rising in all of the major nations growing the fiber, and the United States is leading the way with a 23-percent increase, says the International Cotton Advisory Committee. The large crop, forecast by ICAC as 10-percent larger than in 2016/17, will drive down the season-average price to 69 cents a pound, a drop of 14 cents.
Outsider Moore defeats Senate Ag panelist Strange in Alabama runoff
Bible-quoting conservative firebrand Roy Moore handily defeated appointed Sen. Luther Strange in the runoff for the GOP nomination to complete the term of former Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions. The result guarantees turnover in Senate Agriculture Committee membership to replace Strange, a supporter of additional cotton subsidies, following the Dec. 12 general election.
The Alabama runoff election could affect 2018 farm bill
The newest member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Luther Strange of Alabama, is also the first to face the voters. The outcome of today's runoff election between Strange, cast as the establishment candidate, and Roy Moore, the Bible-quoting, conservative outsider, for the Republican nomination for the Senate could influence the course of the 2018 farm bill.
Cotton industry aims to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 39 percent
The National Cotton Council, the umbrella group for growers, ginners, merchants and manufacturers, said the industry has set six goals for improving environmental stewardship by 2015, including a 39-percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions. The council's chairman, grower Ronnie Lee of Georgia, says the industry "wants to be the supplier of choice for those who are committed to only buying cotton that is produced with sustainable and responsible environmental, safety and labor practices."