As US wheat acreage dropped in 2017 by 7 percent year-over-year (YOY), upland cotton production became more popular in states like Kansas and Oklahoma. Upland cotton, traditionally concentrated in Texas, Georgia, and Mississippi, is now being planted in more fields across Kansas and Oklahoma with prospective plantings acreage up 40 and 16 percent YOY, respectively. In contrast, Texas 2018 acreage is only expected to increase by 6 percent. From 2012 to 2017, wheat producer prices fell from $7.60 to $4.40 per bushel. That decline has fueled the huge switch from wheat to cotton area planted.
Before they can sell their crops, farmers must have their field cotton ginned. Therefore, an indicator of a long term expansion trend in cotton acreage is a ramp up of ginning operations. Two big ones, Northwest Cotton Growers Co-op and the Adobe Walls Gin, are set to complete expansion projects by the end of 2018. As cotton planted acreage continues to spread north of Texas, Gro Intelligence provides subscribers with the data and analytics to stay ahead of trends in US planted acreage.