- Josie Musico reports on the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that cotton is cheap, with the futures market listing cotton at about 78 cents a pound and no guarantees of strong production with many lingering dry areas across the Southwest. Some experts are also pegging that 78 cent mark as the current break-even level, where a decent crop will just cover the costs of growing it, and are expecting prices to decline as global supplies remain at all-time highs. With crop insurance prices not yet set and direct payments gone, it’s shaping up to be a risky year for cotton farmers, and one Texas farmer urges his fellow growers to market their cotton now instead of waiting.
- Cotton Market News reports that USDA announced at its Ag Outlook Forum last week that it expects cotton prices to fall over 10% to 68 cents per pound during the current marketing year, while also predicting an increase in U.S. planted acreage and less abandonment in the upcoming season.
- Sharleen D’Souza reports for India’s Business Standard that with the stabilization of the rupee relative to the dollar India’s cotton exports have picked up with increased buying from China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Total exports for the country for this cotton marketing year are expected at 9-10 million bales.
- The Jamaica Gleaner reports that the Japanese government has agreed to invest over $100,000 to resuscitate the West Indian Sea Island cotton industry, which grows a variety called Sea Island Cotton which is the highest priced cotton in the world at $10 a pound and is considered “the world’s best quality cotton based on its fibre length, silk-like quality, fineness and texture.” Sea Island Cotton is only grown commercially on the Caribbean Islands of Antigua, Barbados, Nevis, and Jamaica, though several unsuccessful attempts have been made to reproduce it in other countries, but Jamaica is the only island currently capable of large scale production.
- The National Cotton Council has scheduled 49 educational meetings across the Cotton Belt between March 17 and 25 to help cotton growers better understand the new Farm Bill and its effects on their operations.
- Josh Thompson of the University of Florida notes that variety selection is one of the most important decisions a cotton grower can make, noting also that no one variety is a clear and obvious choice for every situation. To help growers in making those variety decisions, Thompson offers some strip-till variety test results conducted by the University of Florida.
- Shawn Wade of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. reports that the PCG has released their Seed Cost Calculator for the 2014 season, an Excel spreadsheet that allows growers to calculate an estimated cost per acre for seeds and technology using published suggested retail prices.