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Cotton in the United States - statistics & facts

The U.S. cotton industry accounts for more than 21 billion U.S. dollars in products and services annually, generating more than 125,000 jobs in the industry sectors from farm to textile mill. The cotton yield per harvested acre was at 849 pounds per acre in 2021, as there were over 11 million acres of planted cotton that year. Of the cotton acreage in the United States, over five million acres were planted with genetically modified cotton as of 2019.

Leading producing states

U.S. cotton is mostly grown and harvested in the Southern states, also known as the "Cotton Belt". The federal state of Texas, the nation's top cotton-producing state, accounted for the majority of the country's total cotton production, followed by Georgia and Arkansas. More than 1.8 billion U.S. dollars' worth of cotton was produced in Texas in 2019. U.S. farmers typically receive an average price of 58.4 cents per pound that year, making it the lowest price since 2008.

Cottonseed

Cottonseed, the most valuable by-product of cotton processing, had a production volume of about 5.4 million tons within the United States. The small, leftover cotton fibers attached to the seed are removed and used to make products like rayon, plastics, explosives, and lacquers. Cottonseed itself can be used as a protein source to feed cows, with just under one million tons of cottonseed meal being produced annually. Cottonseed oil can also be used in cooking; however, consumption rates in the U.S. have been steadily declining.

International trade

The United States exported about 15.6 million bales of cotton in 2020. Exports of cottonseed were lower, at 425,000 tons. In comparison, exports of cottonseed oil have grown each year, reaching 125 million pounds in 2018/2019. The United States is the world's largest exporter in cotton, sending thousands and even millions of tons to places like Honduras, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 18 most important statistics relating to "Cotton in the United States".

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