Cotton is the most important cash crop in Texas. Texas earned the lead in cotton output in the United States in 2017, generating 8,830,000 bales of cotton. Georgia and Mississippi came in second and third, with 2,900,000 and 1,220,000 bales, respectively.
The main growing states are Texas, Louisiana, and South Carolina. However, Arkansas, California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Virginia also grow significant amounts of cotton. Cotton's importance in these states varies by region so not all regions can be said to be equal.
Texas has led the nation in cotton production for several years now, but that isn't saying much since it accounts for only 7% of the national total. The state produces more than any other single producer country in the world. In fact, it ranks first among the top 10 producers in the world. By comparison, California produces nearly as much cotton as France and Russia combined. In fact, California produces more than the next seven highest-producing countries combined.
It's clear that Texas is leading in cotton production because it has been able to maximize yields while minimizing costs. With prices near record levels, many farmers have switched from other crops such as corn and wheat to cotton. But even with these high prices, many farmers remain hesitant to plant cotton due to risks associated with its production process. For example, farmers worry about pests damaging their crops even though they have used pesticides effectively.
It's no surprise that Texas ranks first in cotton output in the United States. Cotton is the state's biggest cash crop each year, contributing around $2.2 billion in crop value last year. Cotton's overall economic effect and the various items it produces have been estimated to be as high as $24 billion each year. The story of Texas cotton is also the American story of slavery and segregation. Before the Civil War, most Texas cotton was grown by slaves who made up about 70% of the state's population. After the war, slave owners protected their investment by not allowing black people into new settlements across Texas. In 1866, after years of lobbying by plantation owners, the state legislature passed a law prohibiting the importation of slaves from Africa. This ban was later modified so that immigrants could bring their slaves with them to America.
Cotton has had a huge impact on Texas technology and industry too. Delta Air Lines was founded in 1952 by Richard "Dick" Anderson, a farmer who wanted to start an airline with his own money. He found a partner in Lawrence Hockley, an oil man, and together they built Delta up into one of the largest airlines in the world. Today, the family business is run by Dick's son Richard "Rick" J. Anderson, who lives in Houston. There are several other major airlines based in Texas, including Southwest Airlines and American Airlines.
According to 2014 estimates, Texas, the nation's leading cotton producing state, contributed for more than 42 percent of total cotton output, followed by Georgia, which accounted for around 18 percent. Output fell in both states due to poor growing conditions caused by drought and heat waves.
Cotton is harvested by hand or with machine ginners. Human ginning is done by workers who separate cotton fibers from seeds using their hands. Machine ginners use rotary knives or brushes to do the same job as human ginners but are much faster and less labor-intensive. Both processes can produce remnants of fiber called lint. These include hairs that remain after brushing or fuzz from seeds that haven't been removed by the gin. This material needs to be cleaned out of the pipeline before it reaches consumers in order to provide clean fiber that can be used to make products such as clothing.
In 2014, Texas producers harvested about 740 million pounds of cotton, accounting for about 42 percent of the 1.1 billion pound global harvest. Georgia producers harvested about 195 million pounds of cotton, accounting for about 18 percent of the global harvest.
These two states together account for nearly 80 percent of the country's cotton production. The other major producer is Alabama, which harvested about 19 million pounds of cotton in 2014.
OVERVIEW OF STATE AGRICULTURE IN 2020
|Commodity||Planted All Purpose Acres||Production|
|COTTON, COTTONSEED||619,000 TONS|
The Cotton Belt is an area of the United States' southern states where cotton was the primary cash crop from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Cotton production was most intense in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi, as well as sections of Florida, Louisiana, and Texas.
Cotton was widely used for clothing and other goods. After oil was discovered in South Texas in 1901, many farmers turned to cotton as a source of income. The price of cotton rose steadily until the U.S. entered World War I on the side of France, Germany, and Great Britain. In response, these countries banned all exports of cotton, causing prices to plummet. The crisis was resolved when American manufacturers began using more of the fiber in their products. By then, however, the damage had been done: Many farmers were unable to repay their loans or sell their crops at a profit. This situation continued into the 1930s, by which time cotton was again becoming popular with consumers.
In conclusion, the Cotton Belt refers to an area of the United States where cotton was the main product produced from the mid-1800s to the early 20th century.
By 1835, the five main cotton-growing states--South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana--produced more than 500 million pounds of "Petit Gulf" for a global market stretching from New Orleans to New York to London, Liverpool, Paris, and beyond. In addition to textiles, the region's farmers grew sugar cane, rice, corn, and tobacco. The economy was based on agriculture and enslaved labor.
In reality, the Cotton Kingdom consisted of a large number of colonies and plantations controlled by individual planters. Although many of these colonies had governments that functioned some of the time, most did not. Instead, they depended on white settlers in the mainland United States or in Canada for justice and maintenance of law and order. If someone was accused of a crime, there was no court system to decide what role, if any, the colony's governor might play in the affair. There were no police officers, just private security guards who were often unqualified and unwilling to use their guns.
In the event of an insurrection or racial violence, the colony's government could call out its militia and send them off to suppress such events. However, since these troops were usually unpaid and sometimes even bribed by those who paid them well, this rarely happened except in cases where the planter class wanted to show its power. In fact, many colonials viewed military action as beneath their dignity.
Find out more. USDA Crop Estimates for 2020 05/12/2021: The USDA estimated overall production for the 2020–21 cotton crop at 14.61 million bales in their final estimate. This is up 1.3 percent from their initial estimate of 14.47 million bales made back in January.
Cotton is America's number one vegetable crop, and the country produces about 90% of the world's cotton harvest. In 2019, American farmers harvested a record high 95.5 million bales of cotton, almost all of it used to make textile products that are sold worldwide. The United States is the only country that grows cotton as an agricultural product. It is used to make clothes like t-shirts and bed sheets.
Cotton is grown on nearly 7 million acres of land, mostly in Texas, Georgia, and Mississippi. But due to drought conditions in several states including Texas, farmers are considering using more drought-resistant varieties of cotton in future seasons. They are also exploring ways to integrate livestock into farming systems where they could provide fertilizer for cotton crops or serve as guard animals against pests.
In 2014, the last time the USDA conducted its own survey of cotton producers, they estimated that we produced 10.45 million bales of cotton that year.