LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — After two weeks of surveying farmers for its annual farm production forecasts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says it expects Arkansas farmers to plant 500,000 acres of cotton, up from 375,000 last year.
Bill Robertson, a cotton agronomist with the University of Arkansas System's Agriculture Division, says he is surprised by the numbers. The division works with the department in gathering the estimates.
Robertson says he had anticipated 430,000 acres after talking to a few more consultants, farmers and members of the state Boll Weevil Eradication Board.
Robertson tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2p0DWX8) that cotton consumption is up worldwide, but the increase comes because the prices for other commodities are poor.
Cotton prices are about 75 cents a pound, up from 56 cents last year.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com