Cotton in the upper Southeast will be picked earlier than in any year in the past quarter century. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.

Cotton is not alone. Corn that survived record heat and sporadic severe drought is early. Soybeans, typically combined from September to and November, are equally early. Peanuts may be the exception.

Cotton specialists say the early crop isn’t going to be good news for growers, but may not be a bad thing in all cases. Some crop mixes will benefit from the early harvest and some will see the optimum window of harvest closed somewhat.

In general, they contend the early crops will mean average or below average yields and quality in most cases.