MEMPHIS - The National Cotton Council is urging Congress and the Administration to address the cotton production losses of 2005 and 2006.
“A large number of U.S. cotton producers have dealt with crop disasters in either or both of the 2005 and 2006 crop years,” NCC Chairman Allen Helms said. “With production costs expected to remain high, many U.S. cotton producers will need assistance in order to maintain their operations.”
The Arkansas cotton producer/ginner said that in 2005, “hurricanes and tropical storms devastated fields and crippled yields from Louisiana to the Carolinas. The current crop year has seen extraordinarily high input costs, and many U.S. cotton producers are facing a disastrous harvest situation from adverse weather during most of the growing season. Early harvest conditions point to significant difficulties across much of the Cotton Belt with the Southwest and the lower Southeast states apparently bearing the largest losses due to a severe drought.”
Today, the NCC distributed the following situation summary to Congressional members and Administration officials:
- USDA’s disaster declarations include 334 cotton production counties, covering almost 80 percent of U.S. cotton acreage. In a number of states, all cotton-producing counties have received Secretarial disaster declarations.
- USDA estimates that 2.5 million acres of U.S. cotton acreage will be lost due to extreme weather conditions. Of the remaining acres expected to be harvested, 4.2 million acres are classified as either ‘Poor’ or ‘Very Poor’. The combined result suggests that 44 percent of this year’s cotton acreage will either be abandoned or have poor yield potential.
- States with the highest percentages of acreage in the Abandoned or ‘Poor’ to ‘Very Poor’ categories include Oklahoma at 71 percent, followed by Texas and Alabama, at 70 percent and 69 percent, respectively. Yields in Oklahoma and Alabama are projected by USDA to be 35 percent below their recent five-year average.