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Cotton harvest underway in Texas

By Justin Walker

Cotton harvest is underway in the Lone Star State.

Cool and wet conditions in the spring caused many fields to be replanted, but the recent dry, hot temperatures have helped the crop progress.

“We were a little concerned earlier this year when the weather seemed to slow down planting, plus high winds in March and April caused a lot of plants to lay down and some were replanted, but over the last few weeks we have been playing catch up. We’re not far off from our average harvest for this time of year,” Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent Jason Ott, Nueces County, said in an interview with Southwest Farm Press.

Most fields in southern Nueces County were picked with stalks destroyed by the middle of August, Ott said.

San Patricio County harvesters have also been busy thanks to sunny skies and warmer days.

“I know there are some growers who would have liked to have picked up a couple of more inches of rain before they harvested, but overall, it’s still looking like a good year,” McCool said. “Our grain harvest was very good, and I’m happy with what we’re seeing with cotton in most places across the county.”

Yields and crop quality are slightly better than 2018’s crop, Ott said, but neither year looked as good as pre-Hurricane Harvey cotton in the region.

While Texas has avoided hurricane activity in 2019, farmers and ranchers in the Gulf Coast stay concerned about the potential this time of year.

Overall, Ott believes most cotton growers will be pleased with their crop once the season is complete, despite the challenges they face.

“It’s not a bumper year for cotton, and the price is a sore point for many. I think the trade issues we’re having is at least partially the reason for that,” he said. “Hopefully, that won’t last, and better days are on the horizon.”

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