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Texas irrigated cotton rated fair to good

Thanks to rain, irrigated cotton looked good in most of the state, but whether dryland cotton will make a crop is still an iffy proposition in many areas, according to reports from Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.

"Cotton in our area is looking pretty good," said Rick Auckerman, Texas AgriLife Extension agent for Deaf Smith County, west of Amarillo. "We're obviously behind in heat units, so we need some help, but the crop overall is in pretty good shape."

Auckerman noted that "pretty good" applies primarily to irrigated cotton.

"We have some dryland acres, but unfortunately a lot of ours received hail earlier so they've gone to other options," he said.

In parts of the Rolling Plains the dryland cotton crop is in trouble, though a good rain could still turn the situation around, said Ryan Martin, AgriLife Extension agent for Motley County, west of Vernon.

"Some producers are afraid it may be too late for moisture to turn this crop around," Martin said. "The majority of producers are still looking on the bright side that if conditions do change and some moisture comes in over the next few weeks they may still have a chance of making a pretty good crop this year."

In South Texas, most cotton has been harvested, said Dr. Gaylon Morgan, AgriLife Extension state cotton specialist.

"In the Rio Grande Valley, cotton has been harvested with yields about average," Morgan said. "Of course, dryland is pretty much non-existent from there up to the Gulf Coast region."

In the upper Gulf Coast, some of the better dryland yields were about a bale per acre, Morgan said. Other dryland fields were zero-ed out by crop insurance adjusters.

"But I saw quite a bit that was actually being shredded down," he said. "It was extremely erratic. You can go from a field that was about a bale per acre, to a half-mile down the road where it was more like a half bale, or even a quarter bale, depending upon the rain showers they've had."

More information on drought in Texas can be found at the Web site of the Drought Joint Information Center at

TAGS: Cotton
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