By admin       2018-07-03

Jul 02, 2018 - Crop conditions vary across Cotton Belt. The 2018 U.S. cotton crop is in pretty good shape heading into the critical Fourth of July fruiting window. At least, that’s what most of the usual barometers that market watchers follow have been saying. But, depending on where you are in the U.S. Cotton Belt, those assessments may be misleading, according to Dr. Don Shurley, cotton economist and professor emeritus of cotton economics at the University of Georgia. No. 1, a large portion of the Texas crop, particularly on the High Plains, got planted, but a lot of it was perhaps dusted in and planted under much less than optimal conditions just to get it in before the crop insurance deadline, he said. The condition of that crop, and the conditions under which it was planted are very questionable. Secondly, in the Southeast, particularly in Georgia, we’ve been 10 to 15 points behind normal in planting over the past several weeks. And with the latest numbers I saw that came out this week, we’re still, I think, 10 to 12 percentage points behind normal. Speaking during a University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Webinar, Shurley said it’s not unusual for Georgia growers to have to plant cotton in June and then be grateful for the long growing season that’s typical for the state. (To view the webinar: https://bit.ly/2E2BEla.) But we’ve been behind average because of wet conditions as has much of the Southeast, he said. So, yes, much of the planting progress has been pretty much normal or ahead of normal, but, as I said that’s, that’s very misleading and we can’t go by that.

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