Cotton yield “not enough to justify the cost” after year of difficult weather
Between a wet spring that forced farmers to replant new crops and a dry summer that didn’t allow them to grow, the cotton crop yield is not as high as some officials wanted.
“We had some major strikes against us for cotton production or anything we had during the summer,” explained David Graf, Wichita County’s Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agent.
Weather earlier this year forced cotton plants to stain their bowls, meaning any cotton that would have sprouted is now brown and not usable.
“Many of us just didn’t have a chance to go into the fields because of the wet fields,” said Emi Kimura,
Some cotton was able to survive the summer, but not for long. In October a freeze swept through the farmland almost thirty days earlier than what is expected.
“A lot of our acres were disaster-ed out by the end of the growing season just because there was going to be nothing there to harvest,” Graff said.
Driving down a road like Rifle Range in Wichita Falls, on-lookers will see fields of white and might think there’s enough for a farmer to turn a profit.
“When you actually go out into the field it’s like taking a handful of cotton balls and spreading them out,” said Graf, “it looks like you’ve got a lot there but there’s hardly anything there.”
Graf said typically farmers can expect almost 550 pounds of cotton. This year, the range is anywhere from 200-400 pounds.
With not nearly enough crop to justify the cost of harvesting it, farmers have no other choice to strip it all and try again next planting season.
“Hope the banker let them go one more time,” he added, “because that’s what it comes down to a lot of the time is just have them try to do this again.”