Cotton Harvest Draws Near

Some areas are reporting this year's cotton crop could be one of the biggest in the last 70 years.  It may not be that good everywhere but should be above average at least.

“I think the crop is going to be good. Above average most places,” said Jud Byars, the owner of Fargo Gin. “There are some isolated areas that are really excellent and some isolated areas where it's not going to be good at all. For the most part, I think the crop is going to be good. And based on government forecasts they think so too.”

There has been a lot of rain over the last month or so and that affected farms in different ways.

“I don't think the rain actually hurt anything,” Byars said. “In fact, we had a lot of cotton that was late, and it was stressing from lack of rain if you can believe that. We had a few weeks with no moisture at all.

“We might have got a little more,” said Langdon Reagan, Wilbarger County Extension Agent. “With that moisture, we might have gotten some growth we might not have needed as much. That cotton probably needed to shut down and it kept growing. It probably didn't need it as much and that probably took away from some.”

The last storm also brought some hail with it, and that did some significant damage to some of the fields.

“I met with a crop adjuster yesterday on some of my own production and he said there was a 52 percent loss,” Byars said. “So, half of it. He went on down to a neighbor a couple miles east of my farm, the farm we had the loss on, and I think he said it was 70 percent loss.”

With many cotton growers having such big crops the supply is starting to exceed the demand.

“Last year at this time they were quoting about $220. 200 to 220,” Byars said. “Some of the commodity brokerage people are down about $50 a ton from where it started last year. The general consensus is it will continue to go down from there before it actually bottoms.”

Prices for cotton the last few years have given many farmers a profit margin and sales of cotton seeds have also given them some added revenue to pay their bills. Byars said harvesting could get underway in a couple of weeks, but may not get into full swing until close to Thanksgiving.

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