Columbia, S.C., December 9, 2005: Based on the December 1 Cotton Ginning Survey,SOUTH CAROLINA'S COTTON production is expected to total 430,000 bales, announced the USDA NASS South Carolina Field Office. This is unchanged from November 2005, and 40,000 bales above 2004. Acres for harvest, at 263,000, is up 49,000 acres from 2004 and 45,000 acres from 2003. This year's expected average yield per acre of 785 pounds is unchanged from November 2005, 90 pounds below 2004, but 67 pounds above 2003.

All cotton production in the UNITED STATES is forecast at a record high 23.7 million 480-pound bales, up 2 percent from the November forecast and 2 percent above last year. Yield is expected to average 832 pounds per acre, up 19 pounds from last month but down 23 pounds from 2004. If realized, production will surpass the previous record set last year, while yield would be the second largest on record. However, Georgia, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas are expecting record high yields. The December area expected for harvest remains unchanged from last month at 13.7 million acres but is up 5 percent from 2004.

Upland cotton harvested area, at 13.4 million acres, is unchanged from the November forecast but up 5 percent from last year. American-Pima harvested area, at 265,000 acres, is also unchanged from November but up 7 from the 2004 harvested area. In the Southeastern States, ideal weather conditions allowed growers to make progress with harvest. Showers during the middle of the month slowed harvest progress, but by late month harvest was virtually complete in the region.

All cotton ginned prior to December 1 totaled 16,057,100 running bales, compared with 14,754,450 running bales ginned at the same date last year and 13,465,900 running bales ginned in 2003.

For additional information: Robert A. Graham, Director

                                          Elizabeth Reeh, Cotton Statistician