Based on the comments received in the September Cotton Farming Web Poll, many farmers in parts of Texas and Oklahoma are still feeling the effects of the drought on their 2012 cotton crop.
In other areas of the Belt, some producers are reporting better-than- expected yields or about what they had anticipated going into harvest. Once again, it all comes down to water – too little, too much at the wrong time or just the right amount.
After tallying the votes, 21 percent of the respondents say their crop is better than expected, while 36 percent say it appears to be about what they had anticipated. Forty-three percent of those who voted described their crop as not up to expectations. Following is a sampling of the many remarks we received via the Web Poll during the latter part of the season as the pickers and strippers began rolling through the fields.
• “Louisiana survived Isaac better than expected, and the early cotton yield estimates are between 700 and 1,500 pounds of lint per acre, which is pretty good for us historically.”
• “Pitiful to nonexistent dryland, while the irrigated land is poor to excellent where water is available. Many wells are going dry or being diverted to oil field use. I’m more than ready for this drought to be over.” – Martin County, Texas
• “Cotton may be fair to good, but we got WAY too much rain in August to have the excellent crop we needed at today’s prices.” – Southeast Ala.
• “Looks better than I expected considering the hot and dry June and July, but the bagging is not on the bales yet.” – North Ala.
• “Our cotton, which is located in the Texas Panhandle (Lamb County) and is drip irrigated, looks like it could turn out along the lines of 2010.”
• “The cotton crop was good to average until Sept. 13. Then we received anywhere up to three inches of rainfall on our mature cotton. This was worse than Hurricane Isaac on the crops.” – Southeast Ark.
• “The irrigated cotton is better than I first thought it would be. Dryland zero.” – West Texas, Martin County
• “Ours will all be shredded.” – West Texas (Jones County)
• “We have 3.5 to 3.75 bales per acre dryland in Wharton County.” – Coastal Texas, southwest of Houston
• “As of Sept. 13, the cotton crop is good but not yet out of the field.” – Issaquena County, Miss.
• “We planted All-Tex conventional seed and used cold steel. I sure like what I see so far!”
• “Dryland in Washita County is pitiful again due to lack of rain. About half of the acres will have to be harvested, and the balance will go to wheat this fall – IF it ever rains.” – West-Central Okla.
• “Just did not rain.” – West Texas
• “Our cotton is expected to yield three to four bales! This is twice more than last year. We just need prices to improve.” – Pecos Valley, N.M.
• “No rain, no crop. The dryland crop will probably be destroyed. Some of the irrigated is only fair.” – Haskell County, Texas.
In this month’s Web Poll, we will move from the status of the 2012 crop to which factor will most likely have the greatest influence on planted cotton acreage in 2013. 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.
Web Poll Results
As harvest season begins, how would you rate your 2012 cotton crop?
• Better than expected – 21 %
• Not up to expectations – 43 %
• About how I expected it to be – 36 %
October Web Poll Question
Which factor will most influence your cotton acreage in 2013 and why?
(2) Rotation benefits
(3) Status of new Farm Bill
Register your vote