U.S.: Cotton Planting and Harvesting Areas, by year
in 1,000 acres
in 1,000 acres
  • Region: United States
  • Time period: 2001 to 2023
  • Published: Jan 2024

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 28, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Highest and Lowest Planting Years

2001 saw the highest cotton planting with 15,768.5 thousand acres, while 2015 recorded the lowest at only 8,580.5 thousand acres. The fluctuation in planting areas over the years reflects changes in agricultural policy, market demand, and environmental conditions.

Variability in Harvested Acres

The largest harvested cotton area was in 2005, with 13,802.6 thousand acres, contrasting sharply with 2023, which had the lowest at 7,064.6 thousand acres. This disparity underscores the impact of external factors such as weather conditions and pest infestations on crop yields.

Decrease in Harvest Efficiency

In 2021, the harvest efficiency (percentage of planted acres that were harvested) reached a peak with 91.6%, indicating optimal conditions and effective farming practices. However, by 2023, it plummeted to about 69%, highlighting increased challenges in cotton farming, potentially due to adverse weather events or economic factors.

Trends in Cotton Farming

Comparing the earliest (2001) and latest (2023) data points reveals a decrease in both planted and harvested acres, from 15,768.5 thousand acres to 10,230.0 thousand acres planted and from 13,827.7 thousand acres to 7,064.6 thousand acres harvested, respectively. This trend may reflect shifts towards other crops, improvements in cotton yield per acre, or responses to market demand and environmental sustainability efforts.

Record Low Harvesting in Recent Years

The years 2022 and 2023 have witnessed some of the lowest harvested acres in the dataset, with 7,289.6 and 7,064.6 thousand acres, respectively. These figures suggest a concerning trend in cotton production that could be attributed to factors like extreme weather conditions, shifts in agricultural practices, or economic challenges facing the cotton industry.

Fluctuating Cotton Production Patterns

An analysis of the annual differences between planted and harvested acres reveals a pattern of fluctuation, with the gap significantly widening in recent years. For instance, while 2006 saw a difference of 2,542.5 thousand acres between planted and harvested areas, 2023 experienced a considerably larger gap of 3,165.4 thousand acres. This indicates increasing unpredictability in cotton crop success rates, possibly due to climatic variability or evolving agricultural practices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which year saw the highest cotton planting?

The highest cotton planting was in 2001 with 15,768.5 thousand acres.

What was the largest harvested cotton area and in which year?

The largest harvested cotton area was 13,802.6 thousand acres in the year 2005.

What was the peak harvest efficiency and when was it achieved?

The peak harvest efficiency was 91.6% achieved in the year 2021.

Terms and Definitions

This refers to the process of setting seeds or young plants into the soil for growth, in this context, specifically for cotton. It involves the choosing of seeds, preparation of soil, and the actual act of placing the seeds in the soil, embarked by farmers annually for the production of cotton.

This is the process of gathering mature cotton crops from the fields. The harvested cotton is then used for a range of purposes which primarily include the production of cotton goods like garments and textiles.

This is a 12-month period that growers use to plant, grow, and harvest agricultural commodities, including cotton. The starting month may vary for different crops and regions based on local climate and historical growing patterns.

A unit of land area used in the imperial and U.S. customary systems. It is traditionally defined as the area of one chain by one furlong, which is exactly equal to 43,560 square feet, or 4,046.8564224 square meters.

In agriculture, yield refers to both the measure of the amount of cotton (or other crop) that is harvested per unit of land area, and the actual amount of the harvested crop. It is usually measured in pounds or kilograms per acre or hectare.

An important machine in the context of cotton production which separates the cotton fibers from the seeds, making them ready for the production of cotton-based products.

In the context of cotton farm production, a bale is a large bundled or packaged amount of compressed raw cotton, ready for transport, storage, or sale. The standard weight of a bale of U.S. cotton is approximately 500 pounds or 227 kilograms.

A term referring to the geographical area in a nation where cotton is a significant agricultural crop. The area is characterized by a climate suitable for cotton production and has historical significance in this agricultural activity.

A financial contract obligating the buyer to purchase, and the seller to sell, a specific amount of cotton (measured in bales) at a predetermined price and a specified future date. This financial instrument is often used for speculation and hedging in the cotton commodity market.
All statistics
Cotton: Production, by country
Cotton: Production, by country
The global distribution of cotton production spans various countries, with the major producers being India, China, and the United States, along with significant contributions from countries like Brazil and Pakistan.
Read more »
All topics
Cotton is a significant agricultural product, with its cultivation and processing forming a thriving industry that extends from farming to textile manufacturing. Read more »
All locations
United States of America
Explore the comprehensive profile of the United States, a nation marked by its vast land area, diverse culture, and robust economy. Discover key statistics ranging from demographics to economic indicators, offering a glimpse into the American lifestyle. Read more »