Although most of the Cotton Belt has welcomed hotter, drier weather during the past few weeks, it may be a matter of too little, too late for cotton in some areas.
Based on the USDA Crop Progress Report for the week ending September 8, the percentage of open bolls jumped markedly in the past week – up to a national average of 24 percent – but still lags the four-year average for this week by 16 percent. Only four states (Arizona, California, Oklahoma and Virginia) are running ahead of schedule, with other states running from 8-to-41 percent behind average.
National crop condition also took a hit in the past week, with 29 percent of the crop rated poor-to-very poor, and only 10 percent rated excellent. California, Arizona and Louisiana lead the way in crop quality, with the crop primarily rated fair-to-good in all other cotton-producing states.