In its December crop report, USDA estimated a 2011 US crop of 15.83 million bales — 470,000 bales less than estimated in the November report. Upland production is seen at 15.09 million bales and extra-long staple (ELS) production at 737,000 bales. Harvested area is estimated at 9.85 million acres, implying a non-harvested area of 4.87 million acres based on USDA’s revised June acreage report. The resulting abandonment rate is 33.1 percent. The national average yield per harvested acre is estimated to be 771 pounds, 51 pounds less than the five-year average.

On a regional basis, the Southeast crop is estimated at 5.14 million bales, based on harvested acres of 3.30 million acres and a regional average yield of 747 pounds, 41 pounds less than the five-year average for the region. In terms of yield per harvested acre, Georgia leads all states in the region with an estimated yield of 837 pounds per harvested acre, four pounds more than the five-year average yield. The largest yield gains are expected for Alabama with an estimated yield of 742 pounds per harvested acre, 112 pounds higher than their five-year average. The largest yield shortfall is expected for North Carolina with yields estimated at 600 pounds per harvested acre, 207 pounds less than their five-year average.

In the Mid-South, expected production is 4.65 million bales. Harvested area is estimated to be 2.41 million acres with an expected yield of 928 pounds per harvested acre. Only Arkansas is expected to see a below-average yield with an estimated 938 pounds per harvested acre, 76 pounds less than their five-year average. Mississippi is expected to lead the region in yield gains with an estimated 952 pounds per harvested acre, 74 pounds more than their five-year average.

The Southwest upland crop is estimated at 3.86 million bales. Expected harvested area is 3.37 million acres and the regional average yield is 550 pounds, 161 pounds less than their five-year average of 711 pounds per harvested acre. All of the region’s states are down in terms of yield with the greatest decline expected in Oklahoma, down 308 pounds to 432 pounds per harvested acre. The Texas upland crop is estimated at 3.70 million bales. Expected harvested area is 3.20 million acres and the average yield is 555 pounds, 156 pounds less than their five-year average.

Upland production in the West is an estimated 1.45 million bales based on harvested area of 492,000 acres and a regional average yield of 1,410 pounds, 17 pounds less than the region’s five-year average yield. The greatest yield gains are expected for Arizona, up 41 pounds to an estimated 1,510 pounds per harvested acre.

The ELS crop is an estimated 737,000 bales. Harvested area is pegged at 288,000 acres with an average yield of 1,231 pounds per harvested acre.