Cotton Harvest

By: Rodney Harris Email
By: Rodney Harris Email

“We had a hard time getting it out of the vegetative mode and into the reproductive mode, and we used a lot of growth regulators this year, much more than normal, trying to slow the growth down.”

A cotton farmer must decide when to terminate the crop.

“You look at the bolls on the top which are the youngest ones, and if they’re mature, you will not be able to cut it with a sharp knife. So if you were to terminate that crop right now you would not lose that boll. It would still open up and produce cotton, but if you have a boll that is not mature, and you terminate the crop chemically, if it’s not mature, it will not open up.

And the plant must be dried down to be able to harvest the cotton.

“We have to knock the leaves off, otherwise your cotton picker, your cotton machine would not be able to, your spindle wouldn’t touch the cotton, they’d be touching the leaves and they’d be gathering trash and stems into your cotton.”

Brazos Valley cotton producers are hoping for a dry spell.

“We’re at a point now where the rain would actually hurt our yields as well as our grade and quality, so once you have a boll that opens up, and it’s fully exposed like this, you’re deteriorating from that point on, so the rush is on to get the leaves off, the bolls open, and get it picked.”

If you’re a fan of cotton clothing, keep your fingers crossed while our local cotton farmers try and get this year’s crop out.

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