The U.S. cotton crop showed big gains in maturity during the past week, according to the July 14 USDA Crop Progress Report. But the report also reflected the continuing slow deterioration of the overall crop condition.
Among the top 15 cotton-producing states, 69 percent of the cotton crop is now squaring, with boll set reported in 17 percent of plants. That’s a 14 percent jump in squaring and seven percent increase in bolls during the past week. The growth is helping this late crop catch up quickly, as it now sits only six percentage points behind the four-year average for this calendar week.
However, prolonged dry conditions in the Southwest and extremely wet conditions throughout the Southeast continue to take its toll on crop quality. Based on this week’s report, 42 percent of the nation’s crop is rated good-to-excellent and 32 percent is rated fair – slight declines over last week’s numbers. Poor-to-very poor ratings climbed slightly, with 26 percent of the crop now falling into those categories.