Does America still grow cotton?
It is known throughout the world that America was a cotton producing nation in the 1800's. Many Americans now wonder, does American still grow cotton? The simple answer is yes.
Cotton requires a warm climate to grow and the reason for its production to be located in the southern states of America. The major cotton producing states include Texas, California, Arizona, Mississippi and Louisiana. Other states that also produce cotton include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
The production yield from an acre of cotton grown in America is 1 1/3 bale. This is equivalent to about 670 pounds of cotton. In 2012 there were over 17.31 million bales of cotton produced in America. This places America third in the global production of cotton. The leader in this agriculture industry is China with a production of 35 million bales in 2012. The second largest producer of cotton is India at 26.5 million bales. Today it is estimated that there are still 18,600 farms producing cotton in America covering close to 9.8 million acres of land. 65% of cotton grown in America is also exported, mostly to other countries in the Americas. These countries include Honduras, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. The exports to China are only about 11% of the total amount exported. In all there are over 80 countries in the world that produce cotton at this time. In America the cost of a single pound of raw cotton was worth $0.71 in 2012.
In America the growing cotton industry is worth $25 billion a year with a total impact on the economy of over $100 billion. It employs about 200,000 people. From a single bale of cotton a textile manufacture can produce up to 1,217 t-shirts. In the years from 2010 to 2012 3.6 million bales of cotton per year were processed by US textile mills.
The great state of Texas is the largest producer of cotton in America. They grow about 25% of the cotton produced by America from over 6,000 acres of farmland. The yield of cotton per acre has been doubled since the 1950’s with a better use of the land, irrigation and fertilizers along with new technology that has introduced new strain resistant seeds against the boll weevil and other pests and weeds.
In America Cotton is the agriculture crop that list 5th in the area it is growing covers. As an economic powerhouse, it has the 4th behind corn, soybeans and wheat. It is also the largest US crop that is not used as a major food item except for small amounts that are used as feed for livestock. 75% of the cotton produced in America is used in the textile industry. The home furnishing industry used about 18% and industry in general uses 7%.
Cotton grown is America is a major force in the economy. Without this natural product being locally produced, our lives would have a greater dependency on foreign sources.