“There was quite a bit of dry land and the dry land this year was, as far as I’m concerned, I can’t speak for anybody else, but it was the worst dry land crop that I’ve ever had since I’ve been farming.”
Jerry Scamardo grows cotton in the Brazos Bottom.
“Cotton’s not gonna make without a little help from Mother Nature, a little water you know to carry it on. Now the irrigated crops, they varied pretty well too. There was some very good irrigated cotton made, and there was some kind of average and mediocre cotton made, but overall cotton production in the bottom is down.”
That in part was due to less cotton acres being planted, but also to Hurricane Ike.
“It blew a bunch of cotton off the stalk that was on the bottom, and then we had the rain that came with it, and once we got the rain the plants started to re-grow, and so that put a pretty good top on there which made more fruit, more bolls, and since the plant did make more bolls, some folks opted to try to make we call it a top crop, the second crop after the rain, so there still is some cotton to be picked in the bottom.
Trying to make a late cotton crop presents its own problems.
“You have problems with insects later, and weather later, you have less heat units for the cotton to mature out, the defoliant does not work as well because of the cooler weather.”
But, as usual, a farmer has to play the hand he’s been dealt.
“You kind of go with the weather, and you kind of go with the flow, and you do the best you can do with what Mother Nature gives you to work with.”
So 2008 had it all. Drought. Heat. A Hurricane. And now cotton still in the field in late, cool October.