Arkansas farmer says tough economics is behind his acreage shift

A farmer in northeast Arkansas says the 2024 planting season will be a one for the history books. Derek Haigwood says for the first time ever he’s planting zero acres of corn. Haigwood tells Brownfield economics are behind the switch. “I can’t get a price that I want to book it at to lock in,” he says.  “So I’m switching all of my corn acres to cotton.”

He says the cotton price isn’t much better, though. “It’s right there on the edge of me looking for something else,” he says. “It’s somewhere around that $.83 to $.84 for December cotton.”

But, Haigwood says, the cotton picker has to run. “You can’t put a corn header on that cotton picker, it only picks cotton,” he says. “So we, want to maximize having that that bailing picker.

The USDA’s Prospective Plantings report, released last week, found U.S. farmers intend to plant 90 million acres of corn – a decline of 5% and 86.5 million acres of soybeans, up 3%. 

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