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Largest corn planting since 1930s could have adverse effect on cotton

U.S. farmers are preparing to plant the most corn in nearly eight decades.

According to a recent Bloomberg Commodities News article, American farmers are set to plant the most acreage of corn since 1936. Much of last year's crop was ruined by drought, and adverse weather conditions have affected crops for the past three years.

Texas Tech University agricultural economics expert Darren Hudson said that since the demand for corn is still high, and drought conditions have subsided somewhat, producers anticipating a high price for the 2013 corn crop have shown an eagerness to plant as many acres as possible. But, he said, the larger amount of corn acreage could affect the cotton industry down the road.

Hudson is a professor and Larry Combest Agricultural Competitiveness Endowed Chair as well as the director of the Cotton Economics Research Institute in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.

"In places where corn crops can substitute for cotton planting, it will definitely take away cotton acres," Hudson said. "We've already seen very low intentions for planted cotton acres this year."

Hudson said if the planting season pans out the way this article predicts, one of the biggest effects will be on the cotton industry's related infrastructure, such as gins, mills and seed companies.

"If the corn acres are actually planted, if they do continue on this path, the impact around cotton will be felt in this area in the late fall, after cotton harvesting," Hudson said.

Find Texas Tech news, experts and story ideas at www.media.ttu.edu and on Twitter @TexasTechMedia.

Date: 3/18/2013



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