The Coastal Bend cotton crop, with harvest all but complete, is better than most folks expected, thanks in large part to a mid-May rain.

“We’re pretty pleased,” says Jeffrey Stapper , Nueces County, Texas,  AgriLife Extension agent. “We got that May rain just as the cotton was flowering. It couldn’t have come at a better time. We made more cotton than we thought we would.”

Farmers harvested about two weeks earlier than usual. “This was a big difference from last year,” Stapper says. “In 2010 it rained the whole month of July.”

Grain sorghum did pretty well, too, he says. “We’re averaging more than 3600 pounds per acre. That’s a little better than average. We’re just thankful for what we’ve got.”

Corn did not fare as well. Stapper says yields are averaging only 40 to 50 bushels per acre. “We just didn’t get the June rain we needed.” He says the intense heat also hurt corn production.

Stapper says the area has been extremely dry since mid-May and farmers need rain now for fall planting and to recharge soil moisture profile for next year’s crops.