By admin       2018-10-25

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Recent heavy rain is threatening Kansas' cotton crop, which is ready or nearly ready for harvesting. Rain can dislodge cotton lint from the plant and decrease yields, The Hutchinson News reported . Water can also cause color from the plant's stems or leaves to bleed onto the lint and damage the quality. Rex Friesen, a consultant for Southern Kansas Cotton Growers, said the crop appears to be holding up despite the wet weather. "It could be a problem, but it turns out the more I'm getting out into fields, the more impressed I am," he said. "Hard driving rain can knock cotton off the plant, but so far I haven't seen a lot of that happening." Harvesting should resume this week if the weather remains dry, Friesen said. About 77 percent of bolls have opened in Kansas, up from 70 percent this time last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Crop Progress and Condition Report. About 2 percent of cotton had been harvested earlier this month before rain halted work, the USDA said. Parts of the southeastern U.S. have also been hit by rain from Hurricane Michael. Georgia, the second largest cotton producing state, had many cotton fields decimated. The Texas Panhandle has also seen its cotton crop suffer because of drought. "You can't take that much cotton out of the system without it affecting the market," Friesen said. "We don't like to see that happening to producers in those states, but prices could potentially go up because of it."

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