Jeannie Hileman's clients may receive an unexpected gift— a good cotton crop—thanks to timely rains. Hileman, who manages the Farmers Coop Gin in Carnegie, Okla., says the rain and accompanying cool weather this summer nearly wrecked the cotton crop before it got started.

"We like to get the cotton planted early so it can have a full season to mature," she says. "Spring rains came with cool fronts, and a lot of wind slowed down cotton planting and made a lot of the cotton late.

"Luckily, rains have continued on into August to keep the crop growing."

Hileman said her farmers had 4,000 acres of dryland cotton and 8,000 irrigated cotton in Caddo and Comanche counties. But cotton growers as far west as Elk City haul their crops to the Carnegie facility.

"There isn't much irrigation water available in the Elk City and Canute areas," she says. "But they have received some good rain. In that particular area, the dryland cotton should make good yields if the rain continues."

The area needs a good Indian summer for the cotton to mature. An early, warm, dry fall is will mature cotton bolls without rain causing extra plant growth.

"A lot of rain late in the growing season can cause the cotton plant to throw off its bolls and start growing again. The plant will add more bolls, but that late in the growing season there is no time for the bolls to mature before frost.”

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 Carnegie and Caddo Counties seem to be the stepping-off place where plentiful rains have fallen. West of Carnegie, grass and crops are growing and the countryside is green for the first time in three years

John Schieber, a Union City, Okla., farmer wishes he had planted more cotton this year. "Well, you do what you have to do with what information you have at the time," he says, standing in his 400-acre field of cotton. "Ordinarily, in better times, I would have 1,250 acres of cotton, but the past two-and-a-half years of drought, and crop market shifts, caused me and my neighbors to plant more grain sorghum and soybeans this year."

Schieber farms in the fertile valleys of the North Canadian River southwest of Oklahoma City. The 400 acres of Deltapine cotton is growing well. Inclement weather caused his cotton crop to be late emerging from the soil, he says.