Bumper Crop Relevance to the Textile and Apparel Industry

What is a bumper crop?

In agriculture, a "bumper crop" refers to a particularly productive harvest yielded for a particular crop.  The origins of this term have their roots in the 1700s, when people started to refer to extremely large swellings as "bumpers."  A bumper crop was a harvest which was so large that it swelled the baskets and containers used to ship things to market.

Example of the word in use: "With all the rain we've had over the last few months, we are expecting a bumper crop this year." 

Let's use cotton as an example. If we hear that cotton is having a bumper crop this year, it typically means that there would be a good supply (in that particular area of the world).  It is important to keep in mind that cotton is part of an international marketplace.  If cotton is having a good harvest in one part of the world, it may be having a not so good year in another part of the world.  When attempting to evaluate cotton prices or availability be cautious to investigate the local and international crops.

The term bumper crop is used for other textile fibers that are also cultivated from plants.  Obviously, there is no need for the term in regard to textile fibers that are manmade such as Polyester, Rayon, or Spandex.

Bumper Crops Effect on Pricing

If crop yields have been minimal in prior years, farmers may be able to secure a very high price for their crops.  If low crop yields are followed by a year with a high output of crop the farmer will reap great reward because of the high pricing in the market.  Conversely, prices may be lower in the following year due to the glut.  Cleary the pricing is based in large part by supply and demand.

You may also want to learn about natural fibers in our textile industry terms section.

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