Central Ala. bucking trend by planting more cotton

PRATTVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Cotton farmers in central Alabama are bucking a national trend.

Nationwide, cotton production has declined about 40 percent since 2005 as farmers switched from the white fiber to grains.

But this year in Alabama, there will be about a 41 percent increase in cotton planted. That's an estimated 360,000 acres compared with 2009's total of about 260,000 acres.

Jeff Thompson of the Autauga Quality Cotton Association says the increase is driven by the market.

Nationally, cotton production is down because grain is less expensive to produce and corn prices are up. But central Alabama hasn't seen the same shift away from cotton as other areas.

Thompson expects cotton production in central Alabama to hold steady for several years.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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