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Weather Forecast

Aug 18, 2016

Weathered Cotton

You can download today's newsletter from the Hill County AgriLife website.

It's been 6 days since the rains started, and the effects on the cotton are already apparent. Fields are sopping wet, and will have a hard time drying out with more rain coming and the sun not shining. The corn got a good soaking and will take time to dry down for harvest.

Most fields look about like this. Mud, cotton on the ground, possibly ready to start regrowth which will further delay harvest. Rains may also bring new flushes of weeds, but most Hill County producers have worked hard at keeping the fields clean.

The bracts of the cotton boll contain tannins that can stain the lint this brown color. Dirt can also splash up onto the lint and cause staining. Sunshine will help reduce the stains, and some of the dirt can be knocked off during harvest, but staining is a quality loss that will eat into profits.

More stained, soppy cotton. Defoliants that were applied too late before the rain didn't have time to work. This can also cause leaf stick, where the dead leaves don't completely fall off, and instead can drape over the bolls. This causes more trash that has to be cleaned more vigorously. 

Some bolls have seeds sprouting inside. Sprouted seed is not completely worthless but it may be much harder to sell, and for a very reduced price.

Some bolls are more extreme with seeds sprouting. The sprouts can also result in more gin trash.

Directly impacting yields, cotton stringout happens when the rain soaks the lint and pulls it down from the weight. Heavier rains can pull the lint to the ground, which can't be harvested.

More cotton stringout.

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