US: Record cotton planting programme required


The US needs to plant more acres of cotton and other staple crops than ever before in 2011 to build supplies to acceptable levels, according to Rabobank’s Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR) group.

Rabobank is a leading provider of financial services for the global food and agriculture industry, and the FAR team reckons that 237m acres of cotton, corn, soybeans and wheat need to be planted this year.

The findings come in the team’s report, “The Battle for Acres: US Field Crops in Competition.”

The increase in planting would amount to a 7m acre rise on the total planted acres in 2010, and a 3m acre increase over the previous record, 2008’s 234m acres.

According to Sterling Liddell, vice president of FAR, market conditions are driving strong competition for production acres, with volatility on the supply and demand sides alike.

“Conditions are different this year from 2008, as all crops have rallied strongly in need of more US production,” he said. “In particular, cotton and sugar are back in competition with corn, wheat and soybeans.”

Liddell expects pricing volatility to continue through the planting season, with the level of competition potentially driving prices to historic highs.