The production of cotton is one of the United States’ most important industries. The country was the world’s third largest cotton producer after China and India, as well as the leading global cotton exporter in 2015/2016.
In terms of cotton production by state, U.S. cotton is mostly grown and harvested in the Southern states, also known as the “Cotton Belt” where cotton plantations were established in the 1800s. According to 2014 estimates, the federal state of Texas, the nation’s top cotton producing state, accounted for more than 42 percent of the country’s total cotton production, followed by Georgia with roughly 18 percent. More than 1.75 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of cotton was produced in Texas in 2014.
Upland cotton is the nation’s most commonly cultivated variety of cotton. American Pima, a finer and more expensive cotton fiber, is mainly cultivated in Arizona and California. In 2015, the United States allocated some 8.6 million acres of land for planting cotton, and about 8.06 million acres of cotton were harvested. Approximately 12 million bales of cotton were produced that year.
Cotton is typically used in the production of textiles. Hence Bangladesh, a leader in textile manufacturing, was also the largest cotton importer in 2015/2016.