- Torrential rains leave Arkansas crops "swimming."
- Heat and wet feet threaten thousands of acres.
- Replant options limited.
FLOODED COTTON IN east Arkansas' St. Francis County.
The cotton in St. Francis and Lee counties is the most stressed Robertson has seen. “There’s been too much moisture the whole year. It doesn’t have much size on it and was just beginning to turn around when this latest series of big rains swept through. I just had a farmer tell me, ‘I don’t have any cotton in standing water but it still looks iffy because it’s had wet feet for its whole life.’
“Situations where you have three or four fields -- say 700 to 800 acres -- that drain into one ditch are still flooded and will be for a while.”
Due to the flooding, Robertson says there is “no doubt” some cotton will be lost. And for the cotton that was already struggling the recent rains will only slow it down more. Add in the predicted heat “and that will put some cotton in even more trouble.”
Crow agrees. “The cotton in these wet areas has had trouble -- it may not have much growth on top and doesn’t have much root mass either. It can’t grow roots where there’s no oxygen.
“One of the issues we’ll be facing on these flooded acres is the temperatures. It’s supposed to be around 90 degrees for the next couple of days and then cool down to the 80s. Ninety degree temperatures won’t be friendly to the beans and cotton that’s underwater.”