Total U.S. cottonseed production in 2016 is forecast to reach 5.1 million tons, up from 4.5 million tons in 2015, a 13.3 percent increase, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Of the 5.1 million tons of cottonseed, approximately 3.2 million tons is available for cattle feed, compared to 2.5 million tons from the previous year’s crop.
“Across the Cotton Belt, the 2016 cotton crop enjoyed good growing conditions, although heavy late season rains in certain areas caused some quality problems,” says Geoff Haney, president of Cape & Son, Abilene, Texas. “The West Texas cotton crop is excellent. Thus, prime feed grade cottonseed is plentiful and readily available.”
With a bountiful, quality cotton harvest, Nigel Adcock, marketing specialist with Cottonseed LLC, La Crosse, Wis., says cottonseed prices are running $60 to $80 per ton lower than a year ago. “It’s an excellent time to put cottonseed in dairy rations, feed more per cow and/or feed it to more cows in your herd.”
According to Tom Wedegaertner, director of cottonseed research and marketing, Cotton Incorporated, the current cottonseed price offers an attractive buying opportunity. “Recent price decreases are not expected to continue. Historical trends show that cottonseed prices typically increase as spring approaches.”
“With its ‘triple punch’ of fiber, protein and energy, cottonseed is a great feed ingredient for high producing cows – even when it seems expensive,” says Wedegaertner. “Whole cottonseed offers strong potential for increasing milk and butterfat production when added to rations.”
Cotton Incorporated suggests producers get in touch with their cottonseed merchant or feed dealer to check prices, or submit a request for cottonseed quotes through its Cottonseed Marketplace.
Cottonseed is an excellent source of fiber, protein and energy. Typical rations can include up to 15 percent cottonseed on a dry matter basis. For more information, including reports on market conditions, feeding information and a list of suppliers, visit www.wholecottonseed.com.
Cotton Incorporated, funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, is the research and marketing company representing upland cotton. The Program is designed and operated to improve the demand for and profitability of cotton.