The 2000 Cotton Crop
Keith L. Edmisten, Cotton Extension Specialist
North Carolina State University
The 2000 cotton crop in North Carolina has been harvested, ginned and classes with 1,406,647 bales having been classed as of February 15, 2001. This puts our yield at about 745 pounds per harvested acre produced on about 925,000 harvested acres. This put North Carolina 5th in cotton production in the USA behind Texas, California, Mississippi and Georgia. Cotton acreage in North Carolina also ranked 5th in cotton acreage behind Texas, Georgia, Mississippi and Arkansas. Early indications were that cotton acreage in North Carolina in 2001 will probably surpass 1,000,000 acres. Because cotton prices do not look promising we may end up with less than 1,000,000 acres.
Color grades this year were the best we have seen over the last ten years due to the lack of rainfall during most of the harvest season. The problem with this years crop was short staple and low strength, both of which were as low as they have ever been in the past 10 years. Although total heat unit accumulation was fairly normal this year, lower temperatures and light levels during parts of the boll fill period probably contributed to this. Staple and strength can be affected by environment but they are also influenced by variety selection. We have seen abnormally short staple over the past four years which suggests that variety selection is at least part of the reason for short staple. Hopefully producers will be able to select varieties with longer staple and higher strength in the coming year. We certainly need to get back to our previous staple and strength levels to avoid losing our reputation as an area of high quality cotton production.
Below is a chart that indicates how the 2000 crop compares to the previous 9 crops. The classing data includes NC, SC and VA with the exception of 1999 and 2000, which includes NC only.
Table 1.Classing of the NC, SC and Virginia cotton crops in the past ten years. 1999 and 2000 data includes NC only.
* 10.2% of the bales in 1997 were classed as 51.
** 26% of bales in 1998 had a 33 or lower staple length.
*** Yield per acre assumes average bale size of 500 pounds.
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Carolina Cotton Notes CCN-00-3A April 12, 2001
Placed on the Crop Science Web April, 2001
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