How Much Does a Bale of Cotton Cost?


How Much Does a Bale of Cotton Cost?

In general terms, cotton costs about 75 cents per pound, or $360 for a standard sized bale. Prices do fluctuate, so for “an exact price right this minute” you’ll need to check with a commodities broker. This isn’t a clickbait article, that’s a direct answer for students or anyone with a passing curiosity about the price of cotton. For farmers, investors, or anyone else interested in knowing such a thing, the rest of this article will explain how and why cotton is valued as it is.

Standard Sizing

In the United States, a “bale” is defined by volume rather than weight. A bale is 33 inches wide at its bulge, the ties holding the bale together are a bit smaller. The length is about 4-1/2 feet, 54 inches. On average, such volume is going to weigh about 500 pounds, it’s going to require machinery rather than physical labor to effectively move and transport bales as they go from the farm to the manufacturer and eventually to the store as a t-shirt, nice dress, or whatever other end product the cotton is used for.

That is, of course, American standards. There may be some exceptions for the material being exported. American measurements are considered the global standard, but some countries do have local nuances to sizing.

Quality Considerations

It’s important to remember not all cotton is the same quality. Different strains grow well in different climates, so material that is grown in the Caribbean is going to be different from what is grown in Florida, which in turn is different from what is grown in Georgia or South Carolina. It’s important to note how, greenhouses and indoor grow technology, cotton can be grown as far north as Maine, but such plants are typically going to be specialty breeds with a specific purpose rather than what comes from mass production farming.

Quality comes into play when considering the multitude of products made with cotton. Fabrics made with blends don’t require the same type as high end 100% cotton clothing, whereas certain fabrics used for curtains and rugs are made of different quality material. In addition to the standard clothing fabrics, most people associate with the material, it’s also used in bookbinding, certain types of paper, coffee filters, and even car tires. For every 100 pounds of fiber produced there is roughly 155 pounds of seeds, which produces oils that can be used in cooking and food products, or as an eco-friendly substitute for petroleum products.

Quality Considerations Of Cotton

Value and Purchasing

Another consideration about pricing is how the law of supply and demand comes into play with each year’s harvest. Demand may not change much, but growing conditions and weather can certainly change the amount of supply. Government actions such as farm subsidies can come into play, as can individual farm decisions concerning crop rotations and predictions as to which crops may be more profitable in any given season.

Cotton Harvesting Equipment

Modern cotton production on an industrial scale requires specialty equipment, as do producers on smaller farms which may grow cotton as a side crop. One of the best-known producers of cotton picker equipment replacement parts is Cert-Pik, USA with aftermarket equipment parts which will fit on John Deere and Case/ IH equipment. Our parts are top quality. You can rely on Certi-Pik parts to fulfill the demanding requirements you encounter during your farming operation. Being nestled in a farming community, we realize your need to be able to rely on your equipment and the need to get back to harvesting or maintaining your harvester.