California cotton ready for harvest Todd Fitchette
California cotton acreage improved in 2016 and should continue to do so this year as water conditions are much-improved for growers and cotton prices look to increase.

California cotton acreage rebounds in 2016

NASS figures show a 33 percent hike in California cotton acreage from 2015 to 2016.

California cotton acreage rebounded in 2016 to 216,000 total acres harvested, according to the latest numbers by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. That included 154,000 acres of Pima and 62,000 of Upland varieties.

This is 33 percent more acreage than was harvested in California during the previous year.

Kings County continues to be the leading cotton-producing county in California. In 2016 growers there harvested 282,000 bales from 83,500 acres of mostly extra-long staple Pima varieties. That comes out to an average of 3.3 bales per acre for the Pima varieties and just over four bales per acre for the Upland varieties.

Merced County came in a close second in acres harvested at 80,000. Growers there produced 135,000 bales of mostly Upland varieties as the region tends to be cooler with a slightly shorter growing season than southern counties like Kings, Tulare and Kern.

Growers in the southern California desert regions produced on average over five 480-pound bales of Upland varieties per acre from a combined 5,400 acres of production.

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