Wet Weather Brought North Carolina Cotton Planting to a Halt

We’ve been talking cotton prices the last couple of days, and North Hampton County farmer, Donny Lassiter says that his intended cotton acres will be down this year:

“We’ll probably be somewhere 10% off of what our intended acres were…10 to 15% off. A little of that has something to do with the drop in the commodity markets, price of cotton, but some of it has to do as well with the wet weather that keeps pushing us later and later into our planting season with cotton.”

Lassiter says that he’ll most likely go back with short-season soybeans. Speaking of changing crops this late in the planting season, Lassiter says there’s a couple of solutions as to switching seed:

“Depending on your relationship with your retailer; your chemical seed retailer, for the most part, they’ll take it back. Everybody has got a different relationship with their retailer. It is an option for some farmers, if they had intended to plant cotton, bought seed and can show all of their records of doing so, you can take ‘preventative planting’, which is part of your crop insurance, and the deal is, to may understanding, they will pay you up to 35% of what your guarantee was on cotton and you can replace those cotton acres with soybean acres, but you cannot plant them soybeans before the 30th of May, and you have to insure them soybeans. But that ‘preventative planting’ because of the unusually wet weather may be an avenue that some farmers go.”

Speaking of wet weather, some corn around the state has struggled, Lassiter says his is no exception:

“Some of the corn looks pretty good, some of it because of the rain and all is getting a little bit of a yellow tint, because I guess from loosing some micronutrients and fertility from all the rain fall. But, for the most part, the corn that we’ve planted looks pretty good.”

Lassiter just hopes that a wet spring isn’t a warning of a dry summer:

“Things seem to change from one extreme to the other in farming, so, if that’s any sign, we’re going to be very dry this summer, I hope that’s not the sign because it’s been unusually wet and a challenge to get the crop planted this year. However, I’d rather work around the wet weather than the dry weather.”

Donny Lassiter, North Hampton County farmer as well as current president of the North Carolina Cotton Producers Association on Today’s Topic. If you’d like to weigh in on cotton prices, answer the poll question at the bottom of the home page.


photo courtesy extension.org

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