Alabama: Cotton Situation

Defoliated cotton field ready for picking. Photo: Lance Clemmons, GW Farms.
The final numbers on the 2020 crop are not altogether final, but it appears that the 28 Alabama gins will process about 700,000 bales from last year’s crop. Converting to a standard USDA bale measure of 480 lbs and assuming an average running bale weight of 493 lbs, that is almost 719,000 total bales harvested. Given an FSA tally of 445,000 acres, the average production settles at 775 lb/A.

Without question, we thought we had a much better crop September 1. In contrast, the numbers from 2019 were 1,028,000 bales from 532,000 acres for an average of 928 lb/A.

Near-final quality data are below. With the adverse weather during September and October, staple, mic, strength and uniformity were better than expected. In fact, five years ago who would have believed we would average a 37.3 staple! That’s a great number and a tribute to breeding and development. But the glaring, obvious negative is seed coat fragment deductions, which generate an extraneous matter penalty of 4.7 cents/lb. Forty percent of the crop classed in Macon had seed coat penalties.

83.89!
Page turned, we look ahead to the 2021 crop and a significant advancement in price. Last Friday the December ‘21 cotton futures price close was 83.89 cents. We welcome a price which begins with an 8!



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