Arkansas ended the 2018 season ranked 5th nationally in harvested acres (480,000 acres), 4th in lint yield (1150 lb/acre), and 4th in total production (1,150,000 bales). The string of consecutive years with good yields is helping to drive the increase in cotton acres. Harvest and ginning capacity is a major limiting factor for acre expansion. Cotton planting intentions for 2019 released in late March are at 580,000 acres, up 20% from the 485,000 acres planted in 2018. This continues to push the ginning capacity of 28 gins in 2018 and on-farm picker capacity to the limit. Optimism for cotton is greater than for most other commodities, but may not be great enough to invest in more gins or pickers.
Bourland, F. (2019). Summaries of Arkansas Cotton Research 2018. Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Series. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/aaesser/156