Despite season-long stresses in Texas and catastrophic weather events affecting other regions at various times this year, the U.S. cotton crop keeps inching higher.

USDA’s Sept. 12 Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates pegged the crop at 16.6 million bales, up fractionally from last month.

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Cotton yield is expected to average 807 pounds per harvested acre, according to USDA, down 15 pounds from last month. Upland cotton production is forecast at 15.8 million bales, down 10 percent from 2010. American Pima production, forecast at 737,200 bales.

USDA decreased estimated yield for Texas by 5 pounds from last month. In the Mid-South, yields were increased by 43 pounds from last month for Arkansas, 126 pounds for Louisiana and 57 pounds for Missouri. Expected yields declined in Tennessee by 26 pounds, but were left unchanged in Mississippi.

Every state in the Southeast growing region reported lower yields than in August. Average estimated yield declined from last month by 28 pounds in Alabama, a pound in Florida, 81 pounds in Georgia, 106 pounds in North Carolina, 154 pounds in Virginia and 43 pounds in South Carolina.

Because forecast harvested acres are higher than last year in regions outside of Texas, production forecasts increased in the Mid-South by 973,000 bales, the Southeast, 867,000 bales and the West, 587,000 bales. The total increase is 2.427 million bales from last year. Meanwhile, Texas cotton production is down 3.644 million bales from 2010.

Global cotton ending stocks are now estimated at 51.9 million bales, 18 percent above the beginning level and slightly below last month.


U.S. corn production for 2011-12 is forecast 417 million bushels lower with expected yields down from last month across most of the Corn Belt. The national average corn yield is forecast at 148.1 bushels per acre, down 4.9 bushels from August and 16.6 bushels below the 2009-10 record.

As forecast, this year’s yield would be the lowest since 2005-06. Despite the lower yield, production is forecast to be the third highest ever with the second highest planted area since 1944.

Total corn use for 2011-12 is projected 400 million bushels lower with tighter supplies. Projected feed and residual use was reduced 200 million bushels mostly reflecting lower expected residual disappearance with the smaller forecast crop.