Columbia, S.C., December 11, 2003: Based on the December 1 Cotton Ginning Survey, SOUTH CAROLINA'S COTTON production is expected to total 330,000 bales, announced the South Carolina Agricultural Statistics Service. This is unchanged from November 2003, and 199,000 bales above 2002. Acres for harvest, at 217,000, is up 17,000 acres from 2002. This year's expected average yield per acre of 730 pounds is unchanged from November 2003 and 416 pounds above last year.

All cotton production in the UNITED STATES is forecast at 18.2 million 480-pound bales, unchanged from November 1 but up 6 percent from last year's production. Yield is expected to average a record high 722 pounds per harvested acre, surpassing the previous record of 708 pounds set in 1994. Record high yields are expected in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Harvested area, at 12.1 million acres, is unchanged from November 1 but 3 percent below 2002.

Upland cotton harvested area, at 11.9 million acres, is unchanged from the November estimate but 2 percent less than last year. American-Pima harvested area, at 168,400 acres, is also unchanged from November but down 31 percent from the 2002 harvested acres. In the Southeastern States, growers were able to make significant harvest progress despite the frequent showers. Early November temperatures were above normal in North Carolina and Virginia, which enabled more of the top crop to open.

All cotton ginned prior to December 1 totaled 13,477,200 running bales, compared with 12,367,650 running bales ginned by the same date last year and 15,564,150 running bales ginned in 2001.

For additional information: Robert A. Graham, State Statistician

Elizabeth Reeh, Cotton Statistician