AGRICULTURE: Cotton Super-Surplus

The Agriculture Department startled the cotton trade last week, predicted a 1942 cotton crop of 14,028,000 bales, almost 1,000,000 bales above earlier estimates and the largest crop since 1937. Main reasons for the expected bumper harvest: wonderful growing weather and increased use of fertilizer. This combination boosted per-acre yield to 289.3 lb., a record high, 35% above the 1931-40 average.

However gratifying to cotton farmers, the U.S. could have got along without most of this fiber, could really use the peanuts, soybeans and hogs which might have been grown instead. On Aug. 1 the U.S. had 10,590,000 bales of cotton in...

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