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“It looks like Texas is turning into a desert state,” says Carl G. Anderson, and the ongoing severe drought will have an adverse impact on what had promised to be a huge cotton production year. “At this time,' he says, "I’d estimate that 3 million of the 7.1 million acres planted this season will be abandoned — the largest abandonment since 1981.”
“It looks like Texas is turning into a desert state,” says Carl G. Anderson, and the ongoing severe drought will have an adverse impact on what had promised to be a year of significant rebound in U.S. production.
The Texas losses, which could be 35 percent or more of this year’s 7.1 million planted acres, will also mean a smaller U.S. crop, according to the Texas A&M Extension professor emeritus, who discussed the situation via teleconference for the joint annual meeting of the Mississippi Boll Weevil Management Corporation and the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation’s cotton policy committee.
“At this point (July 7), 91 percent of Texas is under extremely dry or exceptionally dry conditions. The situation is serious for all crops, including forage and hay. There is no situation in recent times comparable to what we’re seeing this year.
“In the Coastal Bend area, there has been very little rain since about October 1. From Jan. 1 through June, the area had only 1 to 2 inches of rain, less than half what it had in prior droughts..
“I was in the Corpus Christi area about two weeks ago and the cotton looked very puny, with white blooms all across the top. The best I saw might squeak out a bale per acre dryland, compared to two bales in most years.”
Northeast of Austin, growers are already zeroing out cotton, Anderson says. “From Waco north to Oklahoma, they have a decent crop, but there’s only about 100,000 acres in that region.
“We’ve got 1 million acres east of the I-35 corridor, but it’s going to be tough for it to make a bale per acre, and I’d think 400 lbs. would be more likely.
“In the West Texas area, there’s simply nothing to talk about for dryland cotton — they’re already zeroing it out.