This season’s cotton crop could be a shining light in a growing year scarred by drought.
“It’s going along pretty good, better that we first thought it would,” Jimmy Roppolo, general manager of Farmers Co-op of El Campo, said.
“It’s coming out of the field fast. We’ve had good dry weather, which is good for the cotton but not much else.”
Roppolo said FCEC’s gins are now running and “actually, yields are better than expected.”
“If it’s dry this week, we’ll probably have a lot of cotton brought in this week, then there’ll be a lull before the late cotton is brought in,” Roppolo said.
Keith Bram, who farms in the Danevang area and is a director for the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation, was on his way to bring in some more cotton Tuesday.
“My cotton is surprising me on yield,” he said. “We got rain late in June, and I think that saved us, I think it made it fill out.”
He said he’s seeing farmers yielding around a bale and a quarter per acre, some a little better, some worse.
“Everything had to go just right to be making a bale and a half or in that range,” he said. “There was a lot of destroyed cotton early that didn’t come up. But there’s some guys down on the coast that got rain earlier, and I’ve heard they’re yielding two and a half bales an acre down by the nuclear plant.”
Normal hopes for cotton yields, Bram said, are for a bale and a half per acre.
“Two bales is really great for most people around here, anyway,” he said.
Bram said it’s the peak of cotton harvest right now.
“Most of the cotton that was destroyed was destroyed early, at the end of May, beginning of June, because it didn’t come up so a lot of it got insured out at that time,” Bram said. “And there’s a good bit of cotton that will probably be brought in around the first of September, that was planted in early May when we got rain. But an awful lot of the cotton will be picked out in the next 10 days.”