Southern Cotton Numbers Revised and H-2A Doubles Workers
**Alabama cotton planted acreage is revised DOWN from the previous estimate to 405,000 acres with production forecast at 770,000 bales, up 5% from last year.
According to the National Ag Statistic Service, Florida cotton acreage is UP to 91,000 acres planted with production forecast at 150,000 bales, up 7% from last month and 46% from 2020.
And, Georgia cotton acreage is DOWN at 1.17 million acres planted with production forecast at 2.20 million bales, up 1% from last year.
**The H-2A Ag Workers Program more than doubled in size over nine years, and fruit, vegetable and nut growers were a big reason for the growth.
The H-2A program allows ag employers to bring in foreign farmworkers to fill seasonal labor contracts lasting less than a year.
A new report from the USDA’s Economic Research Service shows between 2010 and 2019, H-2A positions certified increased more than 220%.
**House Ag Committee Democrats approved an incomplete spending package as part of the Build Back Better Act.
It includes $18 billion in rural job-promoting investments through the USDA’s Rural Development and $7.75 billion to support ag research and infrastructure.
The bill also includes $1 billion for expanded biofuel infrastructure, $4 billion for a new Rural Partnership Program, $2.6 billion for the Rural Energy for America Program, and $40 billion for forest-related programs.