No cotton? Warren won’t see any of the white stuff this year

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dips predicted in this year’s cotton production are being seen statewide and locally from reasons including the weather and economics.

Farming acreage in Warren County was not expected to yield cotton in 2009, favoring other crops due to higher fertilizer prices.

“I know of no farmers in Warren County who have planted any cotton,” Warren County Extension Service Director John Cocarro said. “I think we’re mostly going to be soybeans and corn.”

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Just 41 percent of the state’s expected total acreage has been planted for cotton compared to 89 percent for corn and 62 percent for soybeans, according to the Mississippi Crop Situation report issued by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Emerging cotton, or stubs just now pushing through to surface, is ahead of last year’s pace by 10 percent statewide but behind the five-year curve by 7 percent. Corn appears on track for a consistent season, while planting of peanuts, an emerging crop in recent years due to energy-related costs of planting cotton, has jumped 10 percent ahead of a year ago at this time.

The figures tracked the progress of Mississippi crops between April 26 and May 3, the most recent time frame available.

After a burst in planting through April, large amounts of rainfall have halted cotton planting across the state, wrote Extension Service cotton specialist Dr. Darrin Dodds in the periodically-issued report.

Cotton-growing areas of the state received between 2 and 5 inches of rain during the first weekend of the month, Dodds said this week.

The Extension Service reported 40 percent of the state’s crop was planted in just 10 days, suggesting low cotton acreage despite a rebound of the crop to about 60 cents a pound for harvest futures contracts since bottoming out at 39 cents in November.

Corn futures neared $4.25 per bushel in the past week, down from peaks near $6 in September. Soybeans traded at $11, the highest in seven months. 

Ending stocks for cotton production will total 5.6 million bales in 2009-10, down from 6.8 million bales in 2008-09, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Conversely, domestic soybeans are forecast by the federal government to hit 230 million bushels, up by 100 million bushels in a year’s time. Corn, the use of which has benefited from its current use in ethanol-blended fuel, is projected to slide slightly to 1.145 million bushels in the coming year, down from 1.6 million bushels.


Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at