Cotton growth is down significantly this year but peanut production is up.
What is the possible cause?
The answer? Cotton normally brings in between 80 cents to above a dollar per pound,
This year, the crop is only bringing in about 60 cents per pound.
Low productivity last year made the growing season not ideal for many, and with less money being generated, farmers are feeling the pinch.
“The producers I’ve spoken with have determined to plant the cotton in the very best soils so that they can have the probabilities of making the best yields and others have actually reduced acreage back and you know maybe even planting a different crop, diversifying in something else,” said William Birdsong, Extension Agronomist.
The price of peanuts has also dropped recently.
And although cotton growth is down, peanut planting is up.
“The reason is because the farm program that has recently come out here and it’s enticing some producers to plant peanuts even though the price of peanuts is low,” said Birdsong.
To offset the cost, farmers are trying to cut where they can, stretching their seeding rate and going into maintenance mode.
But, there is hope for the 2015 season.
“We’re off to a respectable start, a good start, right now so I’m very encouraged by that. The next two months will really give us the determination of what direction we’re going to take. If we can get timely rains over the next 60 days then I’d say the chances of this being a productive season is very high,” Birdsong said.
With growing season starting late, harvest season won’t start until September.
But with the recent rains, farmers have felt very grateful.
“We continue to pray for the rainfall, we’re thankful for the rains we have had but it’s a long ways until harvest time.”
In Alabama, the number of peanut acres are up 23 percent.
The amount of cotton acres, however, are down 14 perfect.
It’s not only here, though.
Nationally, the amount of cotton planted is down by more than two million acres, while the amount of peanuts planted are up by roughly 250 acres.