Mary Hightower, U of A System Division of Agriculture

14 Jan 2022

Arkansas’ rice and cotton crops both hit record yields in 2021 as expected, while yields for corn and soybeans were roughly the same as the previous year, according to Wednesday’s report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that summarizes 2021 crop production. However, for cotton, there is one caveat. Wednesday’s figure isn’t final.

For cotton, “USDA reduced the average yield 24 pounds to 1,263 pounds of lint per acre, which is still a record,” said Scott Stiles, extension economist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “However, this is not the final yield estimate. For cotton, that will be released in May.” Why May? “Ginning is still ongoing in Texas and the High Plains,” he said. The figures will be released alongside the National Agricultural Statistics Service final Cotton Ginnings Annual Summary.

Bill Robertson, extension cotton agronomist, said the report “bumped planted and harvested acres by 5,000 from the December report. This resulted in the December yield estimate of 1,287 pounds of lint per acre to drop to 1,263.” Arkansas ranked fourth in planted cotton acres and fourth in upland cotton yield per acre and was third in production. Harvested acres moved to 475,000, compared to 520,000 last year.

Average price outlook remained steady month-to-month at 90 cents per pound. “Compared to last year we were down 9 percent in acres but was down only 2 percent in production,” Robertson said.