What is in this article?:
• Yield trends were slightly higher in 2010 than in 2009. If you look back to 2004, yields have been fairly stable at around the 800-pound mark, which isn’t bad when you look at the entire Cotton Belt. You can see an upward trend from 2000 to 2004, but beyond that, it has been fairly consistent despite heat and drought from this past summer.
• Essentially every state in the Southeast increased its cotton acreage in 2010 compared to 2009.
• In the lower Southeast, glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth pigweed is an ongoing battle, but growers are being more proactive about the pest, whether it be technology driven or through management practices.
Tennessee lost 60,000 acres
Tennessee lost about 60,000 acres of cotton due to flooding, and that land was not replanted to cotton, says Collins.
Mississippi got off to a great start in 2010 with excellent planting conditions, but growers there had a very hot and dry June, says Collins. Record heat in August caused square shed, but harvest weather and yields were good, he adds.
“Louisiana had a very dry spring and had to replant some of their cotton,” says Collins. “Spider mites and plant bugs are an ongoing challenge throughout the Mid-South, along with potash deficiencies.”
In the Mid-South, Stoneville varieties appear to dominate the region, he says. But there is a growing interest in Phytogen varieties, especially in Tennessee, with more than 60 percent of their acres planted to Phytogen varieties.
Challenges in 2011 for the Mid-South include glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth, says Collins. “Growers there are attracted to grain crops, largely due to the shift in infrastructure and the costs associated with producing a grain crop versus producing cotton. There are opportunities for cotton in the region for 2011, one being price, which could reward us all. High prices along with improved varieties and new technology could make cotton very competitive in this region.”
In the Mid-South and in the Southeast this year, high micronaire was observed in some cases, says Collins. “That comes as no surprise with the varieties we’re planting along with hot and dry conditions. It was widely variable depending on the state and the rainfall received.”
In the Southwest, growers had a good year, with frequent rainfall throughout the entire season, says Collins. Texas dominated the Cotton Belt with more than 5 million acres.
“It’s difficult to discuss in general terms the state of Texas because it is so large,” says Collins. “In south and central Texas, they had a relatively expensive production year, largely due to insect pests such as flea hoppers and stink bugs. But they did have decent yields. In April and May, rainfall delayed planting in some of the Blackland areas, and rainfall also slowed crop growth substantially.”
High Plains growers had several challenges, but they had a good start with a dry June and wet July. “These are some of luckiest growers in the nation in that they do not have glyphosate-resistant Palmer armaranth pigweed yet. Texas growers had near-record bale production this past year with excellent fiber quality.”
The Western states of Arizona and California both increased their cotton acreage in 2010. Both states had marginal conditions in the spring with freezing occurring into May, says Collins. Good fall conditions allowed them to mature their crop and achieve high yields.
“In Arizona, the pink bollworm eradication program is coming to an end, largely due to the success of Bt cotton in the region. Roundup Ready Flex Pima varieties will be offered in 2011, so there may be an increase in Pima acreage this year.
For 2011, considering the recent price rally along with the availability of new technology and equipment, the outlook appears very positive for U.S. producers, says Collins.