If you are in the business of farming, it’s no surprise that Mother Nature can throw you a curve ball at any time during the season. This year, cotton producers report challenges with heat and drought early on, followed by excessive rains as their cotton crops begin to mature.
Although harvest was not completed at the time of this Web Poll, we asked our readers in mid-October to “eyeball” their crop and rate it at that point. Despite frustrating weather conditions, 71 percent of the respondents rate their crop good or fair at 26 to 45 percent, respectively.
Ten percent believe they are looking at an excellent crop, while 19 percent rate theirs as poor.
Following is a sampling of the comments we received from people who voted in the September Web Poll in which they discussed factors that contributed to crop conditions this year.
• “Our cotton looked real good until the September ‘monsoon.’ Don’t know right now – a lot of boll rot and hard lock. Made me kind of nervous when I ran the sprayer while defoliating. We have had two inches of rain since and only one day of sunshine. Better pray for dry weather, or we will certainly be singing ‘Jingle Bells’ on the turnrow.”
• “After 18 days and 15.5 inches of rain, it’s still raining.” Neal Isbell – northwest Alabama.
• “This cotton crop had a lot of potential until the September rains started. Almost continuous wet and overcast conditions for about six weeks have reduced it to an unbelievably big mess that may not even get harvested if predicted weather becomes a reality. I’ve often heard the old guys talk about the 1957 crop. Now I know what they mean. Maybe next year – if we can survive financially.”
• “In north Alabama, I picked six modules on Oct. 15. Cotton was too wet to pick, but better picked wet than on the ground. I estimate 600/700 pounds per acre but think quality will be terrible. The 80-acre field we picked would have been the best cotton that farm had ever made if I could have defoliated and picked on time. I think the crop has 20 to 25 percent yield loss. A lot of cotton is on the ground.” – D. Hodge, New Market, Ala.
• “Early heat and drought followed by too much rain means I see a lot of 350-pound cotton. Some is around 500 pounds, and, in places, 800 pounds. I’m in south Alabama, and we’ll be glad when this year is history.” – Wiley Farrar, Canoe, Ala.
• “Only three inches of rain all summer and none in August.” – Ronald Luker, Brownfield, Texas.
• “We had a dry August in northeast Mississippi and then excessive rains in September and October. Cotton’s prospect is drowning more and more after each rain – 250 pounds this year compared to 1,000 pounds last year.”
• “Still a fair crop, but sure could use some sunshine.”
• “Cotton growers need to get the leaves off now. The DD60s are just about done.”
• “Travel north and south in the Mississippi Delta shows very little cotton picked especially in the north Delta. Quite of bit defoliated in the one week of dry weather, but the heavy rains continue in the Delta.”
As cotton futures jumped above 67 cents a pound on Oct. 14, we are asking our readers what factor will create a positive impact on the demand outlook for U.S. cotton in 2010 and why? Cast your vote and explain your choice in the “Comments” section.
To participate, go to www.cottonfarming.com. The results of the November poll will be reported in the Cotton Farming January issue.
WEB POLL RESULTS
In September, we asked: How would you rate your cotton crop by “eyeballing” it at this time? What factors contributed to your crop’s condition this year?
Excellent — 10 %
Good — 26 %
Fair — 45 %
Poor — 19 %
November Web Poll Question
What factor will create a positive impact on the demand outlook
for U.S. cotton in 2010 and why?
(1) Continued economic recovery
(2) Rain in China
(3) A weak dollar
(4) Stock prices
(5) All of the above
Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.