US cotton area to drop by 27%
US cotton growers are expected to plant some 9 million acres (3.6 million ha) of the crop this year, down nearly 27% on the previous year, according to a survey by the National Cotton Council. Plantings of upland cotton are forecast at 8.8 million acres and extra-long staple varieties are expected to be planted on 203,000 acres, down 15% on the previous year. Growers are moving out of cotton into soybeans and maize because of higher returns for those crops, the survey reveals. The USDA’s survey of planting intentions is due to be released on March 28th.