Cotton Links


’08 Crop: Preliminary Ratings Across The Belt

Although 40 percent of the respondents in the June Web Poll rated their cotton as fair in June and July, the comments we received indicate that many farmers are still cautiously optimistic about this year’s crop.

It is also heartening to see that despite the political challenges and stiff competition from grain crops that cotton has faced in the past couple of years, many producers have not lost their sense of humor.

When we asked our readers how they would describe the condition of their cotton crop in June and July, one farmer – who did not identify the area of the Cotton Belt in which he farms – quickly replied, “Well, it won’t pay for $4.50 diesel and $900 per ton fertilizer, that is a sure bet!”

“Sam,” from Tallulah, La., noted that he “looked at the crop this past weekend in northeast Louisiana and determined that both acres looked good.” (It’s always healthy to have a good laugh now and then).

In fact, 41 percent of the respondents rated their crop as good, very good and excellent – 20 percent, 19 percent and two percent, respectively. Only 19 percent described their cotton crop as poor during this time period.

Following is a sampling of the comments from other readers who voted in the June Web Poll. As always, we do appreciate the feedback.

• “Cotton looks good now, but we are dry in my area of northeast Alabama. Cotton looked excellent last year in July, and the August heat and dry weather finished it off. Hope this year is not a repeat of last year.”

• “Cotton looks very good in west Tennessee, thanks to warm weather and moisture so far.”

• “Even though we planted later than usual in central Mississippi, cotton emerged well and has grown rapidly as a result of warm weather and plenty of sunshine. Rain has been scarce through the month of June; but early July rains have hopefully kept us on track for a respectful yield level. Profits may be few as the result of high costs for inputs. Without some relief in the form of price increases or lowering of costs, we may not be able to continue growing our favorite Southern crop.”

• “We’ve had very little rain in Dawson County, Texas.”

• “Our cotton looks good but is late in the southern part of the San Joaquin Valley, Calif. Bug pressure is light, and temperatures have moderated.”

• “Cotton is late, and the soil is very dry in north Mississippi.”

• “Cotton is bolled up two-thirds of the way on the stalk and will cut out very soon. The crop looks good considering it has been an extremely dry growing season in the Brazos River Bottom of Texas. We had a good bottom crop to start with, and it is going to save us.”

• “North central Texas is very hot and dry. Dryland cotton is fair to poor; irrigated cotton is average.”

• “I looked at the cotton crop this past weekend in northeast Louisiana and determined that both acres look good.” – Sam in Tallulah, La.

• “The weather started out too cold in western New Mexico, and the cotton got off to a real slow start. We have not had enough sunshine to catch up.”

Since diversification and crop rotation have become popular in parts of the Cotton Belt, this month we’re asking our readers to vote and share their comments about what they have or haven’t learned about crop rotation.

To participate in this month’s Web Poll, go online at www.cottonfarming.com. The results of the August poll will be reported in the Cotton Farming October issue.

Web Poll Results

In June, we asked: How would you describe your cotton at this time and to what do you attribute its condition? Please name your area of the Cotton Belt.

• Excellent — 2 %
• Very good -- 19 %
• Good — 20 %
• Fair — 40 %
• Poor — 19 %

August Web Poll Question

Have the cotton/grain acreage shifts helped you learn more about the benefits of crop rotation on your farm? Please explain your answer in the comments section.

(1) Yes
(2) No

Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.

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