Texas and Oklahoma continue to harvest more cotton in 2007 than any other cotton growing area in the U.S. As of Jan. 1, 2008 — 5,889,500 bales have been ginned in the two states. In 2006, on the same date — 5,037,200 bales had been processed in the two states. These totals include Kansas, whose 2007 cotton production is smaller than the state's 2006 production.

As of Jan. 1, 2008, Texas has ginned 5,584,050 bales; compared to 4,792,900 in 2006. Oklahoma's cotton bale yield is 264,850 as of the same date, compared to 165,900 in 2006. Kansas ginned 40,600 bales in 2007, compared to 78,400 in 2006.

Cotton yields in 2006 in the three states were greatly diminished due to a severe drought. Kansas' cotton harvest was down in 2007 due to spring planting problems and a majority of farmers planting crops such as corn and milo aimed at the biofuels market.

Nationally, the 15 U.S. cotton-producing states produced 15,715,650 bales as of Jan. 1, 2008. The same 15 states ginned 19,211,850 bales in 2006. Again, inclement weather at planting time and a wide interest in growing crops for biofuels production caused a reduction in cotton production on the national scene last year.

These figures can be found at the National Cotton Council Web site cotton.org.

Agricultural production costs continue to increase annually and cotton producers are not immune from this situation. With some slight variations, the following production cost estimates are available:

In 1998, across the cotton belt, the average operating cost for one acre of cotton was $150.74. In 2005 (the last year NCC statistics are available) the production cost for an acre of cotton was $252.83. In between those two years, 1999 costs were $162.84; 2000, $161.42; 2001, $171.11; 2002, $185.24; 2003, $166.88; and, 2004, $217.77.

Talkin’ Cotton is a feature of NTOK Cotton, a cotton industry partnership which encourages increased cotton production in the Rolling Plains of North Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. For more information on the cotton scene, check out okiecotton.org and ntokcotton.org. For comments or questions about Talkin' Cotton, contact us at eventerprises@hughes.net.