When Cotton Farming polled its readers last month and asked them to name the one factor that had the most influence on their crop’s yield and quality potential for 2011, the answer came back loud and clear: D-R-O-U-G-H-T!
It appears that most of the comments we received came from cotton producers in Texas where rain abso-lutely refused to fall at all, or, if it did, was reported as only miniscule amounts. In fact, no one can blame farmers in any part of the Belt for feeling frustrated if they were plagued by extreme drought this year.
According to the results of the September Cotton Farming Web Poll, a whopping 86 percent of respondents say that drought definitely was their biggest cotton production hurdle in 2011. Early season temperatures and planting date combined accounted for nine percent of the vote, followed by “Other” at four percent and insect pressure with only one percent.
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.
• “With no rain, nothing grows. The ground looks just like it did prior to planting. Nothing germinated. My operation is located in Nolan County at Roscoe, Texas. We are going no-where until next year and hoping that it will be better.”
• “Extremely high and low temperatures caused much fruit shed.”
• “I’m making my 51st crop. This year was the second driest in our area; 1964 was the first. We’re located in north Louisiana. I haven’t picked any irrigated cotton, but it looks good, and the irrigated corn was great.”
• “I farm southeast Arkansas Delta land and have been in cotton with some rotation for well over 100 years. I usually average over 1,100 pounds per acre, but that average will be less this year because of early season temperatures and continued heat. We had no nighttime relief, so our yields will be down.”
• “Too hot, too dry, too windy. We experienced a total loss in southwest Oklahoma. We had no rain, irrigated five times, and the cotton was still three inches tall. Wind, heat and dryness took their toll.”
• “Drought kept us out of crop production in the Coastal Bend.”
• “Dry. Dry. Dry. Less than one inch of rain has fallen since October 2010 in west Texas. It sure looks like 1951 all over again. Hope the drought doesn’t last as long as it did in the 1950s.”
• “Production in Texas is way overestimated. What looks like a good crop never fills the basket.”
• “We cannot grow cotton on the 1.2 inches of rain that we got this year. None came up.”
In this month’s Web Poll, Cotton Farming is asking its readers about their intentions to use a fall burndown to kick off next season’s weed control program. Go to cottonfarming.com to cast your vote and share your comments. Results of the October poll will be reported in the November issue of Cotton Farming.
On a final note about the 2011 drought, Texas cotton producer Barry Evans may have said it best in the My Turn column on page 30:
“I, as a producer, am committed to this land and the fruit that comes from it, through the good times and the bad. I can’t get down on this year and tell future generations that it’s not worth it, because it is. And not only is it worth it, it is vital. Nothing worth having comes easy, and I have been and continue to be blessed. As the Robert Schuller book title says, Tough Times Never Last, Tough People Do.”
Web Poll Results
In observing your cotton prior to harvest, what do you believe had the most influence on your crop’s yield/quality potential in 2011?
• Drought – 86 %
• Insect pressure – 1 %
• Early season temperatures – 5 %
• Planting date – 4 %
• Other – 4 %
October Web Poll Question
Are you planning to include a fall burndown in your upcoming weed control program? Please explain your answer in the “Comments” section.
Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.