Columbia, S.C., December 10, 2004:          Based on the December 1 Cotton Ginning Survey, SOUTH CAROLINA'S COTTON production is expected to total 370,000 bales, announced the USDA NASS South Carolina Statistical Office. This is unchanged from November 2004, and 44,000 bales above 2003. Acres for harvest, at 218,000, is unchanged from 2003. This year's expected average yield per acre of 815 pounds is unchanged from November 2004 and 97 pounds above last year.

All cotton production in the UNITED STATES is forecast at a record high 22.8 million 480-pound bales, up 1 percent from the November 1 forecast and 25 percent above last year's production. Yield is expected to average a record high 828 pounds per harvested acre, surpassing the previous record of 730 pounds set in 2003. Record high yields are expected in Arkansas, California, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. Harvested area, at 13.2 million acres, is unchanged from November but 10 percent above 2003.

Upland cotton harvested area, at 13.0 million acres, is unchanged from November but 10 percent more than last year. American-Pima harvested area, at 253,000 acres, is also unchanged from last month but up 43 percent from the 2003 harvested acres. In the Southeastern States, growers were able to make significant harvest progress despite isolated thunderstorms. Most gins were operating at or near capacity.

All cotton ginned prior to December 1 totaled 14,722,150 running bales, compared with 13,465,900 running bales ginned by the same date last year and 12,367,650 running bales ginned in 2002.

 For additional information:      Robert A. Graham, State Director

                                               Elizabeth Reeh, Cotton Statistician