With about three-quarters of U.S. cotton being sent overseas, experts claim that cotton prices are rising.
Georgia growers, for example, can expect to make at least five cents more per pound of cotton than they did around this period in 2016.
Don Shurley, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension cotton economist, says, “Our exports are doing really well. U.S. quality, especially here in the Southeast, has been just excellent in recent years.”
Because of an extended drought, cotton producers were able to work in the field and harvest their crops in a timely manner. However, some of last year’s potential was lost due to the dry conditions. Low rain totals stifled the growth of plants.
In terms of cottonseed, Shurley is still calculating data to develop average totals. He says he has not seen a jump in the price of seed or technology fees. Overall, the differences in prices from year-to-year are the result of different varieties of seed and tech.
“For example, if you wanted to go to the store and buy a loaf of bread, that loaf of bread may cost you ‘X’ dollars,” Shurley explained. “If you went back the next year and that loaf of bread was more expensive, you could easily conclude that prices have gone up. However, if the bread is more expensive, but it’s a different type of bread, then you’re not comparing the same thing, just like we’re not comparing the same varieties of cotton and technologies.”
Prices may be higher in 2018 due to a new variety of cotton seed or technology, but not due to an overall price increase set by dealers.