What is in this article?:
- Weather issues included the gamut from record-setting drought, unrelenting heat, devastating floods, humidity and hail stones as big as lemons.
- Texas set records for heat and drought.
- Extremes were the rule for Mid-South growers.
STAN WINSLOW, right, cotton consultant from Camden, N.C., visits with a group of fellow crop consultants, including Ray Young, second from left, after Winslow spoke at the annual Cotton Consultants Conference in Orlando, Fla. The consultants conference is the lead-off event for the 2012 Beltwide Cotton Conferences. Young, often considered the dean of cotton consultants in the United States, is from Wisner, La.
“In 2011 weather took precedence over every other issue,” said Stanley Winslow, Tidewater Agronomics, Camden, N.C.
“I don’t do crop estimates anymore,” he said, since too many things can happen to a crop from the time it begins to set fruit and when farmers harvest.
“Last year started out extremely hot and dry,” Winslow said. “The crop opened earlier than usual.”
Then Hurricane Irene hit. Early cotton had about 20 percent of the bolls open when the storm hit and most of those were lost. “After Irene, we had another 14 days of hot, drizzly weather that resulted in boll rot and hard lock. We lost a lot of the crop. Some farmers who were harvesting 1,000 pounds per acre before those 14 days of bad weather harvested 700 afterward.”
Winslow said average yield would be from 600 to 700 pounds per acre.