This year’s season has taken a heat wave hit that started early and has blistered many cotton fields, especially Texas dryland.
However, the Lone Star State is not the only cotton-producing area feeling the effects of blazing heat and cloudless skies. And, at the same time these conditions are taking a physiological toll on the crop, some farmers are living with the stress of worrying about filling their contracts.
According to the results of the July Cotton Farming Web Poll, almost half of the respondents (48 percent) have witnessed adverse effects on their cotton crops related to spring and early summer weather conditions. Twenty-nine percent cite increased irrigation costs, and 16 percent express concern over filling contracts. The bright spot comes from seven percent of the respondents who have not seen any significant weather-related adverse effect on their crop.
Following is a sampling of the comments that we received from Cotton Farming’s Web Poll respondents who wished to share their thoughts regarding how they voted:
• Southeast Alabama: “I have cotton squaring and cotton three inches tall in the same field. Hundreds of acres are lying in dry dirt waiting for rain. Fill what contract??”
• “South Georgia is just as bad. I have cotton blooming and cotton two inches tall in the same row. About half of my cotton has not come up. It’s very, very dry.”
• Holmes County, Miss.: “One end of my farm is flooded, and I am irrigating on the other end. The cotton mostly looks good.”
• Hollandale, Miss.: “I’ve only had .4-inch of rain since May 20. Thank God for irrigation.” – Ganier Planting Co.
• “It’s very hot and dry in south central Kansas. Plants are not vigorous and are very thin. Without rain soon, we will not produce much of a crop. Looks like an insurance year.”
• “My farm is north of Lubbock, west of New Deal. It hasn’t rained. The dryland cotton is nonexistent, and the irrigated cotton died from the wind.”
• “It’s very dry in the Rolling Plains of Texas. We planted cotton, but not a stalk came up. Conditions are worse than in the ’50s.”
• Bakersfield, Calif.: “Poor spring weather delayed planting, and weather after late planting has not been good for fast growth.”
• “Northeast Texas has been hot, dry and windy.”
• Meadow, Texas: “We lost our entire crop due to lack of moisture.”
• Briscoe County, Texas: “We have no dryland cotton at all, and quite a bit of the irrigated crop has been abandoned. These are the worst conditions I’ve ever seen. We’ve had less than a half inch of rain in nine months!”
• “The cotton is 75 days behind schedule in south Central Texas due to late-planted drought conditions. However, insect pressure is light.”
• South Texas Coastal Plain: “We row crop and had moisture to get the cotton up. Since then, we’ve had about two inches of rain. Cotton is popping due to heat and lack of moisture. Contracts are based on quality, plus we will have to pay a premium to harvest. Pray that we clear the debt.”
In this month’s Web Poll, Cotton Farming is asking its readers how resistant weed control strategies are working out for them. Cast your vote and share your comments at cottonfarming.com. The results of the August poll will be reported in the September issue of Cotton Farming.
Web Poll Results
Have you seen any adverse effect on the cotton crop, as of early July, that is related to spring and early summer weather conditions in your area?
• Delayed planting — 48 %
• Increased irrigation costs — 29 %
• Concern over filling contracts — 16 %
• No significant adverse effect — 7 %
August Web Poll Question
If you adopted one of the resistant weed control strategies this year, how would you describe the results? Give details of your 2011 experience in the “Comments” section.
(1) Significant improvement in control
(2) Better than usual control
(3) Still need to tweak strategies
Register your vote a twww.cottonfarming.com.
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