What is in this article?:
Too much heat and not enough moisture at critical times have hastened the development of the 2010 cotton crop in the upper Southeast. This is one of a series of reports by Farm Press editors about the outlook for cotton and other row crops as the harvest approaches or is completed.
In Southeast Virginia, cotton consultant Wendell Cooper says he’s never seen cotton on such a large scale mature so early. “It’s all due to the extremely high temperatures we had early in the season – cotton got off to a tremendous early start, and areas that had moisture produced an early crop,” Cooper says.
Earliness in Virginia cotton is a sporadic thing—some years some areas are earlier than others, Cooper notes. “However, this year cotton is early across the state and more uniformly early than any crop I’ve seen in nearly 30 years of working cotton crops in Virginia and North Carolina,” he adds.
“Our cotton crop is not going to be the disaster we thought it would be back when we were in the grips of record heat and extended periods of drought. On the other hand, yields will be a far cry from what we’ve had the past couple of years,” Cooper says.