|Cotton growers are busy planting their crop this season.|
|Seedlings are emerging in some cotton fields.|
In contrast, Golden State growers, primarily those in the San Joaquin Valley, expect to plant 230,000 acres of Pima, up 7 percent from last year. Once again, California will account for the lion’s share of Pima acreage – 88 percent – planted in the United States.
Nationally, the USDA estimates the planted area for all U.S. cotton in 2018 at 13.5 million acres – a 7% increase over 2017.
It’s easy to say Pima serves as the backbone of California’s cotton industry, which has steadily declined over the decades. The fine, extra-long fiber is dubbed by some as “cashmere of cotton,” rivaling fine Egyptian cotton. It commands a higher price than Acala, which can allow growers to continue growing cotton despite rising water prices.