Southeastern Cotton Struggling to Catch Up

Seems this spring and summer, all the focus has been on the struggles of corn and wheat, but cotton has had its struggles as well. David Parrish Executive Vice President of North Carolina Cotton Producers Association:

“We started off this spring kind of slow…hard to get out of the field. And we’ve continued through the growing season, its hard to get out there and do what you need to do. Cotton is one of those crops that it takes a little more management with the inputs you have to put on it. So, it has been a struggle.”

But, Parrish feels that all the acres that were intended for cotton did get planted:

“Late according to, I guess, the reporting date. But, certainly, I think we got the cotton in the ground that we wanted to get. We were certainly expecting a pull back this year, so the decrease in acres was more a reflection of where the other crops were at and not so much the late spring.”

The copious amounts of rain on the cotton crop has created a set of potential future problems says Parrish:

“Again, its like every other crop, its late…not only have we had a lot of rain, but with that rain comes clouds, and just have not had the sunshine we need to get that crop moving. So, I guess the saying here in North Carolina is that you’re only 10 days away from a drought, so and really this year that’s the big concern. You know, we’ve had so much rain, the root system really hasn’t had to search for water, so we’ve got a shallow root system, so if it turns of dry now, it could the worst of both worlds, I guess you would say.”

As far as North Carolina’s cotton acreage this year, Parrish says about the number of acres anticipated were planted, but nobody’s counting on that many being harvested:

“We’re right around the 425,000, 430,000 range, it’s hard to say because we’re going to have some, probably that’s going to be abandoned, or at least not harvested. Certainly depending on where you are in the state, the water has been more of an issue than others. I was at a meeting last week with some folks from the southeast, and you know, everybody has had too much rain, but down in the southeastern part of the state, its been worse than others. So, you’re going to have spots down there that are going to be drowned, and not planted back, and that’s going to affect our overall acreage at the end of the year.”

Weed management has also been a challenge with producers inability to get into the field says Parrish:

“Well, yes, that’s something that I’ve definitely heard more of this year and again, it’s just another one of those problems that goes into a wet season. It’s like they say…a dry season can hurt you, but a wet season can kill you, you know, and it causes a lot of problems. It’s not that we want it to stop raining, we just need it to slow down, and, I mean, I has in the last week, and that’s allowed our guys to get out into the field and get caught up.”

Executive Vice President of North Carolina Cotton Producers Association, David Parrish. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.