How would you evaluate the progress of this year’s cotton crop in your area?
Our crews had done some early fertilizer and burndown applications for the cotton crop, but the rains really had an impact on us here at the Agricenter. We put out some nitrogen a couple of months ago, and it’s been washed away. A lot of the fields in front of our offices were flooded. If we can somehow get a few days of dry weather, we can still make it. At this point, however, I think we’ll plant and then come back and spray. This kind of rainy weather has affected all of the Mid-South.
Conditions are extremely good in Georgia. We had plenty of moisture before we planted, and the cotton is off to a good start – maybe as good as we’ve had in recent years. The heavy rains in the Mid-South moved over to Georgia and were very beneficial. Frankly, I think we’re fortunate to have started so well, considering the heavy flooding in parts of the Mid-South. Right now, things look good here.
After going through last year’s drought with “zero” production, we have followed up with the wettest spring we’ve had in several years. The wet weather did cause a late start for us, but there is also a lot of optimism among producers. We finished planting about a month late, but we’ve had a lot of heat units since then. Even though we’ve had some wind and a few struggles here and there, it’s one of the best starts to a crop season that I can remember. For the next 30 to 45 days, we need good growing days, warm nights and maybe about three inches of rain. I’m very optimistic about this crop.
NE Research & Extension Center
With the rains we’ve had here in northeast Arkansas, we simply haven’t been able to plant. When the storms hit in early May, we received seven inches of rain, and we have continued a pattern of five dry days and then more rain. It’s been very frustrating to say the least. We are inching closer to planting this crop in June, and that’s when we run the risk of losing yield next fall. We definitely need a stretch of dry weather.
As we are speaking today in mid-May, the high temperature is 63 degrees in the San Joaquin Valley, and it’s sprinkling rain where I live and farm. We are simply off to a very slow start with this crop, and it’s all because of weather conditions. We are at the seventh or eighth leaf stage, and we need some warm temperatures to catch up. I guess we haven’t completely gotten past our winter weather. We’ve had a few windows, but we need some 90-degree days to get this crop going. It’s been a cool start, but I remain optimistic about how we’ll fare out here the rest of the season.