By admin       2018-10-05

Ever doubtful of USDA’s record-breaking yield estimates for the Southeast, I was just beginning to warm up to them. That, of course, was up until the events of the past few weeks. First, Tropical Storm Gordon dumped 10 to 20 inches of rain in its path through the panhandle of Florida, southwest Alabama and parts of the Midsouth. Cotton here was later and a little was knocked out and winds twisted plants and laid them on the ground. Persistent rains since then and high temperatures have led to a great deal of boll rot. As a result, what was once 1,200-pound cotton will now struggle to pick a bale. On the east coast, Hurricane Florence wreaked havoc on the Carolina crop, making it three out of the past four years where powerful storms have caused severe crop losses. South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina were in the direct path and suffered the greatest damage. Though loss estimates are still being determined, it appears upwards of a half a million bales of cotton were destroyed. All is not lost, however. Many areas within the region have dodged the heavy rains to this point and still have excellent yield potential. Georgia, with its large planted acreage, is one of these locations. As harvest begins in earnest this week, we need about two months of sunshine and dry weather to get the most out this 2018 crop.

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