If you’ve driven through the Brazos River Bottom west of Bryan College Station you’ve probably noticed cotton in the field that hasn’t been picked and remnants of some harvested crops that haven’t been plowed under. That’s courtesy of the wet fall we experienced. Jay Wilder grows cotton in Burleson County.
“Since we last visited prior to Thanksgiving we haven’t been able to harvest any more cotton at all. It’s just been rain after rain after rain. The ground is so saturated it won’t support any kind of machinery at all as far as our cotton pickers or where we were able to pick, we haven’t been able to absolutely any field work. It just won’t hold the machines up.”
Wilder has about three hundred acres of cotton still in the field that won’t be salvageable.
“The grades on the lint itself have gone down so much that buyers aren’t wanting to buy it or the end user’s not able to use it. The seed quality in the cotton itself is beyond usable areas there. They’re getting seed fragment now in the lint, which when that happens the buyer will not buy it.”
So harvest is over, but Wilder isn’t able to get to work on 2019.
“We’ve got twenty-five hundred acres of farmland. We may have three hundred of that that’s been shredded and plowed. We have absolutely no rows up to start with. No fertilizer out. No herbicides out. Anything we would have done typically in the fall has not been done. So I don’t know what our game plan will really be because we’ve never been in this situation.”
Wilder says it will take a minimum of a month with no rain for them to be able to get back into the field.
“It’s kind of a scary situation. I don’t know, I’ve never been in it and my Dad, he’s been doing this for sixty years. He’s never seen it this wet.”