After six years of trending downward, California cotton growers are slated to harvest more cotton than they did last year, which fell to the lowest level since the Great Depression.
Overall acreage based on the state’s pink bollworm survey – the most accurate accounting of cotton acreage in the state – reflects a 35 percent increase to 218,713 acres. By type this includes a 31 percent hike in Pima acreage to just over 152,000 acres. Upland acreage figures are up 44 percent to over 66,000.
Roger Isom, president of the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations, is optimistic about this year’s crop as quality thus far appears good. Insect pressures have been manageable to this point.
Isom was a little surprised at the increased acreage, saying it was higher than expected given the 5 percent federal water allocation growers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley received.
Cotton breakdowns by county are as follows:
- Kings: 83,120 acres (74,410 acres Pima)
- Fresno: 48,280 acres (39,800 acres Pima)
- Merced: 40,040 acres (14,795 acres Pima)
- Kern: 23,690 acres (20,175 acres Pima)
- Tulare: 13,610 acres (2,980 acres Pima)
- Madera: 625 acres (10 acres Pima)
- San Joaquin: 190 acres (all Pima)
Just over 5,500 acres of Upland cotton are planted across Riverside and Imperial counties in southern California. An additional 3,628 acres of Upland varieties are planted in the Sacramento Valley counties of Sutter, Glenn and Tehama.
Cotton acreage is up about 22 percent to 129,474 in Arizona, according to Leighton Liesner, director of the Arizona Cotton Research and Protection Council.
Upland acreage accounts for over 86 percent of the state crop with more than 115,000 acres planted. There is another 13,378 acres of Pima in the ground.
Supima, the organization that promotes and markets textile and apparel products made with American Pima cotton, estimates that 199,000 acres of the extra-long staple (ELS) cotton could be harvested this year in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.