By admin       2018-09-24

Spot cotton trading was inactive. Supplies and producer offerings were light. Demand was moderate. Average local spot prices were lower. Trading of CCC-loan equities was inactive. Hurricane Florence made landfall along the North Carolina coast as a Category 1 storm early morning on Friday, September 14. Florence brought devastating storm surge flooding, heavy rain, and damaging winds. The areas most affected include the Pee Dee region of South Carolina northward to the central Coastal Plains region of North Carolina. Some areas experienced accumulated rainfall totals measuring up to 36 inches during the week before the storm blew north. Hurricane-force winds battered plants laden with bolls and cotton had strung out in some fields that received heavy rainfall. Damage assessments were underway; estimates on crop losses were not immediately available, but catastrophic losses were anticipated in areas directly in the path of the storm. The sun was shining by early week, but fields remained saturated with low-lying areas flooded. In addition, flooding is expected to worsen over the weekend in areas of southeast North Carolina and northeast South Carolina as major waterways continue to rise above flood stage before they crest. Remnants of the storm brought an inch or more of moisture to areas of Virginia late week. Producers welcomed warm and sunny conditions following the storm and defoliants were being applied in areas that were accessible. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) crop progress report released September 17, cotton bolls opening reached 59 percent in North Carolina, 43 in Virginia, and 37 percent in North Carolina. In North Carolina, the percentage of the crop rated good-to-excellent declined 14 percentage points from the previous period. Mostly sunny to partly cloudy conditions prevailed over the lower Southeast during the period, with warm daytime high temperatures in the low to mid-90s. Spotty shower activity brought very light precipitation to some areas throughout the week. Full irrigation schedules were maintained in areas where soil moisture conditions had deteriorated due to dry conditions. The crop advanced at a rapid pace. Defoliation was getting underway in the earliest-planted fields. Gins prepared machinery for the beginning of the ginning season. Harvesting was underway in some of the earliest-planted fields in north Alabama and south Georgia; a few gins plan to start pressing operations within the next week. According to NASS, cotton bolls opening reached 67 percent in Alabama and 55 percent in Georgia.

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