A sharp reduction in 2012 cotton acreage is expected for Oklahoma, according to the National Cotton Council producer planting intention survey reported at the NCC's annual meeting held last weekend in Fort Worth, Texas.

Oklahoma acreage is showing a 10 percent decrease as acres are moving to wheat. Southwest growers are indicating the smallest percentage decline with 5.3 percent fewer acres, lowering the regional total to 7.62 million acres. In aggregate, Kansas growers indicated essentially no net change in cotton area as the state total is expected to stay at 80,000 acres. For Texas, respondents intend to reduce area by 5.1 percent. The relatively small drop in area could reflect the ongoing drought concerns and the need to maintain acres in a relatively drought-tolerant crop.

In the three Southwest cotton-producing states of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, Oklahoma producers, who had 415, 000 acres of cotton last year, intend to plant 374, 000 acres this year, according to the survey. In Kansas acreage will remain the same at 80,000 acres. Texas' acreage will decline only a little over 5 percent with 7,166,000 acres estimated to be planted in 2012.

Across the cotton-growing area of the US, it is predicted 13.34 million acres of cotton will be planted this year, down 7.5 percent from 2011, while extra-long staple (ELS) cotton planting intentions of 287,000 acres represents 6.4 percent decline.

With assumed above-average abandonment in Texas and Oklahoma and all other states set at historical averages, total upland and ELS harvested area would be 10.88 million acres, which is 20.3 percent below planted area. Applying state-level yield assumptions to projected harvested acres generates a cotton crop of 18.3 million bales, compared to 2011's total production of 15.67 million bales.

NCC Vice President Gary Adams said, "'Final production will be very dependent on weather developments, particularly in the Southwestern U.S. If conditions worsen, we could see the U.S. crop be two million bales lower than early-season expectations."

The NCC survey, mailed in mid-December, 2011, to producers across the 17-state Cotton Belt, asked for their intended 2012 cotton acreage as well as for their intended planting of other crops in 2012. Survey responses were collected through mid-January. "The expected drop in cotton area is consistent with current market signals,” Adams noted. “Since 2011, cotton prices have weakened relative to competing crops like corn, soybeans and peanuts."

TALKIN' COTTON is produced by NTOK Cotton, a cotton industry partnership which supports and promotes increased cotton production in the Rolling Plains of North Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. For more information on the cotton scene, see ntokcotton.org and okiecotton.org. For comments and questions about Talkin' Cotton, contact bustersbarn1@yahoo.com.