Georgia acreage will increase from 1.3 million acres to 1.5, possibly 1.6 million, said Gary Collins, University of Georgia. “Acreage may depend to some degree on peanut contracts, but I think any increase in peanut acreage will come from corn or soybeans.”

In South Carolina, acreage could increase by 10 percent from 200,000 planted in 2010. “Most of the increase will come south of Santee-Cooper Lake,” said Michael Jones, Clemson University Extension specialist. Acreage increase also will come from competing crops, he said.

Tom Barber, Arkansas cotton specialist, said the 2010 cotton crop yielded “okay, considering conditions. We had a lot of 1,400 to 1,600 pound per acre yields but we also had some in the 2-bale range, and we’ll average about 1,070 pounds.”

Barber expects a 10 percent to 15 percent increase in 2011. “Dollar cotton looks very good.”

Bill Robertson, with the National Cotton Council, told cotton specialists to “encourage farmers to plant as much cotton as they can and then to come to Beltwide. Acreage will be up across the Belt in 2011,” Robertson said.