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Alabama cotton estimate slips, but sunshine might reverse itAlabama cotton estimate slips, but sunshine might reverse it

Alabama's cotton crop has suffered significantly from sustained cloudy, rainy weather.

September 20, 2022

1 Min Read
Brad Haire

The Sept. 12 report from USDA indicated a decline in Alabama cotton yields from 851 pounds per acre to 836 pounds per acre, that is from the August estimate. This time last month we were considerably more optimistic than their number, but the crop has suffered significantly from sustained cloudy, rainy weather.

So little sunshine! As a crop consultant recently stated with frustration, “We can make a crop, we just can’t gather it.”

Harvest aid applications are beginning, and a couple of weeks of picking will better inform our yield projections. It is still early to really know. However, since Sept. 12, the weather has changed. We’ve seen more sunny hours, humidity and temperatures have dropped, we’ve often felt a nice breeze, rain showers have all but disappeared and the 10-day forecast includes more of the same. How much this will improve our final production is yet to be determined but it is broadly welcome.

We continue to believe the “last 40 days” in our season have a profound effect on final yield.

December cotton futures remain volatile. Sept. 1 brought a 500 point (5 cents/lb) drop from $1.1329, while more recent trading has been around $1.06/lb and has today fallen below $1. Even with the September USDA report indicating a nationwide 10 percent increase in production over August forecasts, the market moved up almost 200 points that very day. Production UP, Price UP -- Crazy!

Source: Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

Brown is a cotton agronomist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service

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