There may be less cotton planted on the High Plains this year. According to a survey conducted in January, Texas farmers intend to plant about 4.9 million acres compared to the 6.5 million planted in 2012.
Drought conditions across the region have been influencing ag producers to choose other crops like wheat and sorghum. Steve Verett of Plains Cotton Growers says price differentials for crops are what mostly influence farmer's choices.
He says precipitation has improved over the South Plains since the survey was taken and so have cotton prices. That may mean there won't be as much of a decrease in cotton acreage as the survey indicates.
He told FOX 34 "we're not where we'd like to be on moisture yet, but we're certainly encourage by the rainfall, the snow and stuff we've had since the first of the year. We are able to say something that we haven't been able to say in quite some time and that's we're at least at average or above average for rainfall so far this year. So everybody I think at this point is kind of cautiously optimistic."
Above average rainfall in January and February has not alleviated the drought. Unless the spring is also wet, improvement will be short term.