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South Carolina Cotton Progressing Well After Rough Start


Like many South Carolina crops, cotton got off to a rough start primarily because of the weather.  Clemson Extension agent, Charles Davis in Calhoun County says in his area of the state, the crop has recovered well:

“Yeah, we had a tough planting season, we had weird weather, we had, believe it or not, a couple of dry spells in there where we had issues, and couple of wet spells where we had issues trying to get it into the ground, some pretty heavy rainfall.

“So, the cotton has been a bit of a struggle, but the warm, 85-90 degree temperatures, consistent rainfall, afternoon showers, high humidity, is just about where cotton wants to be.  Now, I don’t want 95-100 degree temperatures when we’re in bloom, and we’re just about to get to bloom, where we’ll start to see some blooms in the field.  Certainly, when we get into pollination time, I don’t want it to be quite as hot at night.  Last week we had some temperatures staying in the 75-79 degree range because of all the humidity at night, and I don’t want to see that. That’s going to be a stress.  All in all, cotton looks like it’s coming on strong right now.”

Have you seen any pest issues?

“No, we haven’t had much problems in cotton, I have heard of a few issues with a few plant bugs, which is unusual for us, we don’t really have a lot of plant bug issues around.  I have heard of some across the state, I haven’t seen any myself, and one of my scouts that I talked to on a regular basis hasn’t really mentioned any.

“We did have a few little cases of spider mites in cotton a couple of weeks ago, but I think the rain has probably taken care of those.

“ We are seeing some worm issues in peanuts, we did have a few fields that needed to be sprayed, worm counts got a little high, kind of  a mixture.  Even got a report yesterday of some cut worms in peanuts that had to be sprayed. So, when you get a year like this where the weather is conducive for insects to multiply you’ll run into little places like that. ”

What do we need to add, Charles?

“Keep praying for rain, and that it turns out to be one of those cool, below average temperature, above average rainfall years.”

Calhoun County, South Carolina Clemson Extension Agent, Charles Davis.'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.