Cotton is produced in 17 U.S. states, according to the National Cotton Council of America, and 12 of them are in the South. Like most farmers, cotton farmers plan, supervise and coordinate all activities on cotton farms, including planting, growing and cultivating cotton. Their incomes and salaries are usually contingent on the number of customers they serve and subsidies distributed by the federal government.
Salary at $58,000
Average salaries for cotton farmers were $58,000 in 2014, according to Indeed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts a net income of $81,200 for all farmers the same year, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported average salaries of $73,210 for farmers in 2013.
Lowest Income Variation in Midwest
In 2014, cotton farmers earned $52,000 in Louisiana and $67,000 in Georgia, which were the lowest and highest salaries in the South. In the West, their salaries ranged from $48,000 to $63,000 in Arizona and California, respectively. Cotton farmers made $58,000 in Missouri and $54,000 in Kansas -- the only two cotton-producing states in the Midwest. Cotton isn't produced in any Northeast states.
Fewer Farmers Needed In Production
The BLS expects employment for farmers, ranchers and agricultural managers to decrease 19 percent from 2012 to 2022. Due to higher land and operating costs, many farmers, including cotton farmers, must maintain current production levels with fewer workers, which may put smaller farms out of business. To counter these losses, several new programs, including the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program, will help farmers obtain land and operating capital, the BLS reports.