Cotton Harvest

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Due to the record breaking wet weather this fall and spring most of the crops in our area were planted much later than normal and gave producers cause to worry about what kind of problems Mother Nature might throw at them. Cotton is starting to be harvested

and Jay Wilder grows cotton in Burleson County.

“We were late, six to eight weeks. Typically we would plant our grain sorghum mid to late March. Cotton would be late March, early April. We got our cotton in the ground the twentieth of May.”

Wilder wasn’t sure what to expect with such a late start.

“But on the backside, on the harvest end, we’re not but probably a week or two from what we would normally be. The weather was warm when we planted in May so the cotton came up in four days where typically it may take six, seven, eight days when it’s a little cooler in late March or early April, but the cotton came up and really took off growing good.”

And once it started growing it made up some ground.

“I know we’re dry at this point but then we had plenty of moisture so it really never slowed down once it got gong. We were ahead of it on our irrigation side. It never did really suffer, so I think it was able to catch up throughout the summer time and get to where it normally would be at this time of the year.”

Wilder said that not being able to put out micronutrient packages in the fall because of the excessive wet weather hurt this year’s cotton.

“Towards the end it looked like it ran out of fertilizer and I think it didn’t have that fall fertilization that we would have typically have, but we did side dress. And so it just looked like it kind of ran out of gas at the end, which I mean you want it to so it doesn’t continue to try to grow but it’s kind of a balance there. You want it to run out about the time I get through irrigating, not before.”

With half his crop picked it looks like a two and a half to three bale per acre crop, which is a good average yield, and given the weather challenges Wilder encountered all fall and spring he says he’ll take it.