By Clint Thompson
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Ag economist Adam Rabinowitz is hopeful producers will stick to their usual crop rotations this year when considering what commodities to produce.
Rabinowitz is wary of farmers who might be tempted this planting season to switch planned acreage of cotton to peanuts due to cotton prices being drastically low.
“Certainly, the cotton prices being down, we could see a little less cotton. Although, hopefully, there was some contracting early on back in early January when prices were pretty good there and there was a bit of an upswing,” Rabinowitz said. “(But) rotation is going to be key. There’s some hope that we keep that rotation intact because we don’t want to shift too many acres over to peanuts. That would really be the only alternative (for cotton growers). Corn prices just keep going down. Soybean prices just keep going down. There’s just not a good other option at this point. We don’t need a huge supply of peanut acres because that’s just not going to help the peanut market.”
According to cotton prices, futures were set at 55 cents per pound on Monday.
According to USDA Prospective Plantings, cotton acres are estimated at 13.7 million acres in the U.S. This is down less than 1% from last year. Peanut acres are expected to increase in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Georgia is expected to increase from 670,000 acres to 740,000 in 2020. Shorter peanut rotations could also make the crop vulnerable to white mold disease.