South Texas cotton farmers seeing surprising yields

As hot weather sets in across South Texas, cotton harvest is all but over in the Rio Grande Valley and at its peak in the Lower Texas Coastal Bend.

So far, producers are reporting surprising yields in many areas with as many as three bales an acre reported in dryland cotton in the Coastal Bend and even more on irrigated fields in the Valley.

The season was off to a slow start after a cool, wet early spring followed by heavy rains and flooded fields in April and again in May. But with only about an inch of rain in June and  little or no measurable rain in July, producers expressed concerns about plant health and pest pressure.

While some fields suffered from too much flooding that either stunted growth or destroyed early planted cotton and grain sorghum, warm weather and sunny days in summer helped many fields recover and produce a good crop.

Cotton harvest is expected to wrap up across the Lower Coastal bend in the days ahead and kick off in Upper Coastal Bend counties soon. 

Photos by Logan Hawkes

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