Prolonged rain in the United States’ Mississippi River Delta is dampening hopes for a clean harvest. In states such as Arkansas and Louisiana, farmers are reporting boll rot and staining of cotton fiber.
Wet weather hampered cotton planting in the Delta this spring, and wet weather in late September and early October is threatening to reduce or affect the quality of the yield. Some gins in the region have delayed opening until more cotton has been harvested.
The USDA’s most recent report, posted October 2, indicates that upland cotton growers have booked about 4 percent of their expected acreage, down from the 10 percent booked through the same period last year.
Contracting has been most active in the southeastern states where about 9 percent of the crop was under contract by the end of September, compared to 12 percent a year earlier. South central growers had forward contracted about 2 percent, compared with 16 percent in 2008. Southwestern states growers had contracted about 2 percent of the crop, compared to 8 percent last year. And growers in the western states had not contacted any acreage by the end of September.