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Too Much Rain at the Wrong Time Poses a Problem for Lubbock Cotton

By Staff
newsweb@everythinglubbock.comLUBBOCK, TX – Lubbock-based Plains Cotton Growers on Friday said in a weekly newsletter that many local farmers are working any available hours, day or night, to get crops planted in between rain storms.Cotton is Lubbock’s largest cash crop. It has a $5 billion impact every year on the greater Lubbock area.

Cotton Farmers, depending on location, have a deadline of May 31, or June 5, or June 10 for crop insurance. Late crops can be partially insured, or planted without insurance.

“Growers across the area … again have been keeping an eye to the sky, this time waiting for any window of opportunity between rainfall events to just get their cottonseed into the ground,” PCG said.

With record-breaking rainfall in Texas during May, finding a dry time to plant cotton seed has not been easy. Typically, by the end of May seed is already in the ground, PCG said.

But for those who can get into the field, planting is just the first hurdle. If conditions are too cold and too wet then seedling disease is a risk.

PCG said, “According to West Texas Mesonet data, 10-day average minimum soil temperatures in many areas are still in the low to mid-60s. The optimal temperature is 65.”

Despite real problems there was a tone of thankfulness in the PCG weekly newsletter because Lubbock and the South Plains have been in drought for most of the last five years.

PCG said, “Most of the PCG service area is considered to be out of drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.”