LSU AgCenter: LA Cotton Crop Disappointing
ALEXANDRIA, LA (AP) — Louisiana cotton producers are expected to complete harvesting this year's crop by the end of the month.
Based on reports, Dan Fromme, LSU AgCenter cotton specialist, said in a news release the flooding rains of August had a significant impact on the crop, especially in the central part of the state.
"The yields are very variable in central Louisiana – anywhere from 500 to 600 pounds, and some fields in excess of two bales," Fromme said.
Two bales contain nearly 1,000 pounds to the acre. Yields in the northeastern part of the state, where a good deal of the state's cotton crop is grown, are expected to be much higher.
"Yields there are just fantastic, well over 1,000 pounds with reports of 1,200 to 1,300 pounds of lint to the acre," Fromme said.
According to Fromme, this year's statewide average yield is will be around 900 pounds per acre, which is approximately 100 pounds lower than last year. The rain not only reduced yields but also caused some quality problems.
"We had some cotton open at that time when we got all that rain, so we're having some color-grade issues from the rain and weathering," he said. "That means a discount to the growers."
Fromme estimated that fields damaged by the weather will see yields reduced by a half a bale to a full bale per acre.
On top of the weather, cotton prices remain relatively low, which has led to low acreage statewide.
Prices for cotton have ranged between 60 and 70 cents per pound and are expected to remain low for the foreseeable future.
"That's still on the low side, and I think it's going to take a lot more than that to bring back a significant amount of cotton acres," Fromme said.