U.S. cotton producers intend to plant 14.76 million acres of cotton this spring. That's up 9.5% from 2003 figures, according to the National Cotton Council's (NCC) annual early season planting intentions survey.

Upland cotton intentions are 14.55 million acres, an increase of 9.3% from 2003 plantings of 13.3 million acres. Extra long staple (ELS) intentions of 212,000 acres represent an 18.6% increase from 2003.

With average abandonment, total upland and ELS harvested area would be about 12.94 million acres.

Applying each state's trend yield to its 2004 projected harvested acres generates a crop of 18.5 million bales; 17.93 million bales of upland cotton and 561,000 bales of ELS cotton. This compares to 2003's total production of 18.22 million bales, according to USDA's January 2004 estimate. Cottonseed production for 2004 is projected at 6.78 million tons, up from 6.69 million last year.