By admin       2017-10-26

Cotton thrives in dry and sunny weather. That's why 2016's prolonged drought helped produce a historic cotton crop. But some weather related events have led to a different story for this year's crop. William Birdsong with the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center says: "Up until toward the end of July, I would say it's probably one of the best crops that I had ever seen but it's certainly only half time in the game of growing of cotton." But fields did not get the scattered showers they needed in late July and August. Hurricane Irma provided some relief in September. However, a few other rain makers during harvest time affected the quality of the crop. Thomas Kirkland who is a Cotton Farmer says: "We're going to make a little bit of money this year but it's not going to be the best cotton crop and the most profit, that's for sure." But despite some tropical impacts in the Wiregrass, cotton is fairing nicely on some farms. "This has been a good year for cotton production but it has been spotted on our irrigated land, the cotton looks really good but we've got other farms that we didn't get rain at all and the yield is cut back." Thomas Kirkland has seen his fair share of cotton during 40 years of farming. "One thing for sure, this has been one of the most expensive cotton crops we've ever put in." He among other farmers have been battling persistent pigweed which can infest the crop. "What we sale keeps going down it seems like and what we inputs we have to buy keep going up." Although there have been a few setbacks, farmers are hoping to finish the season strong. Birdsong finishes with: "It's an industry that takes on a lot of challenges, and you've got to have a lot of faith, gotta have a lot of faith in yourself and you've gotta have a lot of faith in God that he's going to take care of you and bring you through." Currently, cotton sells for 68-69 cents a pound. Farmers would like to see it in the 80 to 90 cent range before the last of the crop is harvested by the end of November.

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