West Texas cotton is faring better than it has for the past three years. But the crop needs rain, says Texas AgriLife cotton specialist Mark Kelley, Lubbock.

He says cooler than normal temperatures, among other setbacks, have hampered crop development, but overall cotton is in good shape. The fate of dryland cotton depends on whether the area gets any more rain

According to reports by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, approximately 4 million acres of cotton were planted in the Texas Panhandle and Southern Plains.

Kelley expects something near the normal abandonment rate, which is about 15 to 20 percent.

“As far as soil moisture conditions go, and crop conditions, we’re a lot better off than we have been in the last three years,” Kelley said. “But some of this dryland crop that hasn’t seen a rain in three or four weeks, it’s going to need some soon.”

Read more on West Texas cotton conditions.