Drought Takes Its Toll on California Cotton Acres

The fourth consecutive year of drought is leaving a lasting impression on the California cotton industry.  A fourth consecutive year of drought coupled with depressed prices, is leading California cotton growers to plant less acres in 2015.  Based on a survey conducted in early March, the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations are currently estimating cotton plantings in 2015 to be at 135,000 acres of pima and 35,000 acres of upland for a total of 170,000 acres.  Now, this is preliminary and a lot can happen between now and when things are actually planted, but based on the survey this is our best estimate.  If it play out, it will be represent at 12% decrease in pima acreage and a 38% decrease in upland acreage in California as compared to 2014.  With a zero allocation in surface water and a dwindling supply of groundwater2015 looks to be a rough year for all of agriculture.