August 11, 2010
While hot, humid days stressed some crops, cotton, for the most part, was doing well with few of the catastrophic failures of previous years, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service cotton expert.
A July U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast predicted a record crop. Though the forecast was issued when much of the state's crop was about half finished, there's a good chance it's on target, said Dr. Gaylon Morgan, AgriLife Extension state cotton specialist.
But the large yield expectations aren't from individual fields topping average yields, he said. It's because with the exception of some flooded and rained-out fields in the south, most of the state's crop was expected to be harvested.
"One of the things is we're mainly average to good in most of the state, versus in a lot of years we've had areas that are bad or completely abandoned. That's the major factor," Morgan said.
For example, in South and Central Texas it's not going to be a bumper crop, but there wasn't a lot that was abandoned there either, he said.
In the Rolling Plains, good yields are dependent upon the area getting more rain, he said.
"I visited with the Southwest cotton producers last week," Morgan said. "They have some really good-looking plants, but cool weather that set in, so they really didn't have good fruit set, and they're going to need some more moisture to make up the difference."
About 60 percent or more the state's cotton is grown in the High Plains. Cotton was rated fair to good by regional AgriLife Extension personnel, but the crop needs more and hotter days to develop.
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