Row of round cotton modules shows production of Arkansas field
Dozens of round modules grace the edge of a cotton field near Portland, Ark., in 2016.

U.S. 2017 cotton acreage highest since 2012

Cool, wet weather may have kept growers from planting as much cotton as they could have, soybeans much higher.

U.S. cotton farmers appear to have planted 12.1 million acres of cotton in 2017, 20 percent more than in 2016 and the highest acreage since 2012, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The increase is not quite as high as USDA-NASS was forecasting in its March Planting Intentions Report when it placed 2017 U.S. cotton plantings at 12.2 million acres. A cool, wet spring in the Mid-South may have limited the increase.

In other highlights of the June Acreage Report, USDA-NASS estimated a record high 89.5 million acres of soybeans planted in the U.S. for 2017, based on its surveys of growers across the soybean-planting regions. More attractive soybean prices at harvest apparently led growers to switch out of corn and into soybeans.

USDA-NASS said producers planted 94 percent of the soybean acreage to herbicide-resistant seed varieties, meaning the GMO-planted soybean acreage was basically unchanged from 2016.

Much of the increase in soybeans came from corn acres, which USDA estimates are down 3 percent from 2016 to 90.9 million acres. Compared with last year, planted acres are down or unchanged in 38 of the 48 estimating states.

Some analysts had been speculating that soybean acres might exceed those of corn in the U.S. for the first time.

Growers surveyed by USDA-NASS said they had either planted or intended to seed 2.56 million acres of rice, an 18.6-percent decline from 2016. Low rice prices in relation to other crops and flooding in north Central Arkansas each contributed to the decline. To read more about rice, visit

Today’s Acreage and Grain Stocks reports and all other NASS reports are available online at

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