Late Cotton Risks Exposure to Weather at Harvest

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Most years you can ask any farmer and he can tell you about something that just wasn’t right weather wise, but last year at harvest time the weather was a disaster and it carried over into this year at planting time. After a rough start, this year farmers are hoping for a good finish. John Malazzo grows cotton in Burleson County.

“There was a three or four day window of opportunity there where we got some cotton planted and that older cotton is our best cotton but then we got another three and a half inch rain and it seemed like for about three or four Wednesdays in a row we got three and a half inches and it was during planting season. So we had a very delayed planting season. Our crop today is just now coming on. We’re probably forty-five days late."

Malazzo says that if you want to insure your cotton crop your final planting date is May thirty-first. He was planting cotton on May thirty-first.

“And it’s presented problems to us that we’ve never had to face which means going into July and August, your typical dry months, and yet the cotton hasn’t even started fruit to it yet so we’re at a critical time as far as needing moisture. Here it is, after all of the wet spring we had, we need moisture now.”

A big part of last year’s cotton crop was ruined by excessive rain at harvest time that never let up. It’s hard to forget that, given the exposure this year’s crop could have to wet weather.

“This cotton will not be harvested until probably middle or late October. That’s a nightmare for a cotton farmer trying to harvest in October because of everything that’s usually happening in the Gulf. We hope that we have good harvest weather. That’s the key to this year. Surviving this year depends on our harvest weather."