How much cotton does America grow and where?
American is the third largest grower of cotton in the world today. The total production in 2012 was 17.314,800 bales of cotton. This cotton was harvested on 12,314,400 acres of land in the southern and western states of America. There are 14 major cotton producing states that account for 98% of all cotton grown in America. These states include Texas, California, Arizona, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee. Kansas, Florida and Virginia make up the last 2%.
Texas is home of 25% of the annual production of cotton in America which totals about 4.5 million bales. One bale of cotton weighs approximately 500 pounds.
The second largest producer of cotton is California. A majority of it is grown in and around the San Joaquin Valley. California is the only state in America that requires the farmers to report on their pesticide use on their cotton crop. From the period of 1989 to 1998 15 chemicals accounted for 77% of all pesticides that were used to protect cotton. These chemicals were mainly aimed at controlling and eradicating the boil weevil infestations that America has had to endure for over 100 years now.
Before the Civil War, Mississippi was the largest producer of cotton in America. Their most productive years to date were in 1837 and 2004 when 2,346 million bales were produced.
When cotton production by regions in America is looked at the southwest portion of the country is the leader. They produce approximately 35% of all cotton in America as of 2009. The states included in this section of America are Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
The second largest region is the mid-south with 34% of the total production. These states include the heart of the cotton belt that existed before the Civil war. These states are Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.
The third largest area of production of cotton in America is the south eastern states. They account for 22% of the cotton produced in America in 2009. These states are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolinas and Virginia.
The region of our country that has the smallest level of cotton production is in the western portion of America. 9% of the annual American cotton harvest is attained from the states of Arizona, California and New Mexico.
The planting and harvesting of the American cotton crop begins in April across the new cotton belt. In most regions this planting is completed before or by June. The harvesting of the crop begins in as early as September in some portions. This harvesting can continue until December.
As for organic cotton, its global production was only 0.76% of the total in 2009. That represents 802,599 bales. In America 7,026 bales of organic cotton were produced in the year 2008.
America is still a major player in the global cotton industry. With annual revenues of over $100 billion in the growing and production of products from cotton, it will remain so for years into the future.