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Cotton is one of the most important textile fibers in the world, averaging about 25 percent of total world fiber use. The United States is the world’s third-largest cotton producer and the leading cotton exporter, accounting for one-third of global trade in raw cotton. The U.S. cotton industry accounts for more than $21 billion in products and services annually, generating more than 125,000 jobs in the industry sectors from farm to textile mill.
ERS provides a range of reports and data products on cotton markets, including domestic and international supply, demand, trade, and prices.
- Cotton and Wool Outlook A report published 9 months of the year that provides supply and use projections for U.S. and global cotton markets based on the most current World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.
- WASDE at a Glance A monthly interactive visualization that provides key data and highlights from USDA's World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates on field crops as well as livestock and dairy.
- Cotton and Wool Yearbook Tables An annual data product that contains U.S. cotton and wool production, supply, use, trade, and price statistics. The tables also include domestic and world price series and indexes; State cotton acreage, yield, and production data; and conversions of U.S. textile imports and exports.
- Raw-Fiber Equivalents of U.S. Textile Trade Data An annual data product that provides raw-fiber equivalent volume of U.S. textile trade. The data are used to track and estimate U.S. consumer demand for textiles, monitor trends in fiber share, and provide insight into the level of world mill use of cotton. This dataset provides historical annual data, while monthly data are published in the Cotton and Wool Outlook.
- Commodity Costs and Returns A data product that provides annual estimates of production costs and returns for major field crops, including cotton.
- USDA's Agricultural Baseline Projections An annual report published in February that offers 10-year projections for the farm sector from USDA's annual long-term analysis. The associated Baseline Database covers projections for cotton and the four major feed grains (corn, sorghum, barley, and oats) in addition to the other major feed crops and livestock.
In addition to the periodic Outlook reports and data products, ERS publishes reports covering issues important to the cotton market in the United States and around the world. Recent ERS reports relating to cotton include:
- Adoption of Genetically Engineered Dicambia-Tolerant Cotton Seeds is Prevalent Throughout the United States An Amber Waves article highlighting the adoption of Dicambia-tolerant cotton seeds and the regulations that restrict its use.
- Cover Crop Trends, Programs, and Practices in the United States A report discussing the use of cover crops, programs that promote them, and how cover crops are managed for major field crops, including cotton.
- Use of Genetically Engineered Cotton Has Shifted Toward Stacked Seed Traits An Amber Waves article highlighting the use of genetically engineered cotton seeds in the United States and the growth in stacked-trait varieties.
- Forecasting the U.S. Season-Average Farm Price of Upland Cotton: Derivation of a Futures Price Forecasting Model A report examining a forward-looking futures-price-based model developed as a tool to assist in forecasting the annual upland cotton farm price.
- Tillage Intensity and Conservation Cropping in the United States A report using field-level data to estimate adoption rates of conservation tillage and practices that affect soil cover. Adoption rates vary by crop and region.
- Federal Crop Insurance Options for Upland Cotton Farmers and Their Revenue Effects A report examining the addition of the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) and the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) to the Federal crop insurance programs and their contributions to revenue and downside risk reduction.
- Cotton Policy in China A report examining China's price support for its cotton producers—analyzing the policy's motivation, its consequences, and the effects of various alternative adjustments.
- A Deeper Look Into the USDA Crop Baseline Projections to 2028, With a Focus on Trade A report discussing the main drivers of trade for major crop markets, including cotton.
- Food Policy and Productivity Key to India Outlook An Amber Waves article highlighting India’s farm sector growth during the last decade despite low yields for its major crops, including cotton. India is expected to remain an important player in the global market.
- Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops by U.S. Farmers Has Increased Steadily for Over 15 Years An Amber Waves article highlighting the growth of genetically engineered crops in the United States—with traits that reduce insecticide use, enable less toxic herbicide use, and increase crop yields.
- Cotton and Hydropower in Central Asia: How Resource Competition Affects Trade A report discussing how water is allocated between agriculture and energy in Central Asia—including scenario results that simulate the allocation effects on production and trade.