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How do you feel as harvest season approaches across the Belt?

jordan leaJORDAN LEA
Eastern Trading Company, Greenville, S.C.
The kickoff of the college football season means one thing to some but something else to those of us in the cotton industry. The new crop is on the way! The entire global textile industry continues to have a strong appetite for USDA-classed, machine picked, reliably packaged and contamination-free U.S. cotton. For high-quality cotton products, it is still the leader of the pack.

 

kelli merrittKELLI MERRITT
Broker/Producer, Lamesa, Texas
It’s exciting to see people gearing up for cotton harvest around here. The entire cotton industry should benefi t from this year’s crop. Specifi cally, I’m talking about chemical sales, spray pilots, temporary labor force, gins, truckers – you name it. This area is looking forward to harvest. We haven’t seen any grades or yields so we’ve got to wait to see if the High Plains can hit four million bales. And, of course, we’d like to produce the premium quality that is in demand. We want the mills to continue to turn to the High Plains for quality cotton. Cotton is still our “go-to crop,” and we still enjoy reaching this point in the crop year.

robert royalROBERT ROYAL
Ginner/Producer, Midnight, Miss.
Every summer seems to have its own personality. This past season was so hot and dry that even the spider mites ran for cover. Cotton yields and quality will be detrimentally affected by that heat, but how much? Hopefully, the new cultivars will demonstrate their toughness to the elements. I’m like other folks as we approach harvest. Here’s hoping that we can fi nish out this crop and deliver some excellent cotton to the gin.

jimmy webbJIMMY WEBB
Producer, Leary, Ga.
I am cautiously optimistic. I wasn’t happy watching my cotton crop grow this year – especially early in the season. It just looked like it sat there for a long time before taking off. July and August were good and hot, which cotton likes. So, it looks like we’ll have a really good crop. I am concerned about the possibility of a wet fall. That might make me consider pushing this crop and defoliating it earlier so we can deliver it to the gin. Hope springs eternal here in south Georgia.

tommy valcoTOMMY VALCO
USDA-ARS, Stoneville, Miss.
With this warm and dry September, harvest is rapidly approaching, and ginners are fi nalizing maintenance and upgrades to get ready for another season. In most locations, the yields look great, but with the low number of acres, both harvest and ginning will go fast. It’s well worth the trouble to take some early lint samples to your classing offi ce to measure color, leaf and extraneous matter. This will give you the confidence that everything is properly adjusted and ready for the season.