Jerry Goodson, Oklahoma State University Extension assistant, Southwest Oklahoma Research and Extension Center in Altus, reports in the Cotton Comments Newsletter that without timely rainfall the crop will continue to deteriorate.

“Much of the dryland cotton, although in fair condition a week ago, will be headed in the wrong direction soon with the forecasted temperatures,” Goodson reported. “We really need a good rainfall event very soon.”

He noted that Altus has encountered 28 days of 100 degrees or greater—1 in April, 9 in May, 11 in June, and 7 days in July (through July 19). “Temperatures have been considerably above average with triple digits and more forecast and few chances of rainfall.”

Cotton heat unit accumulation for a May 1 planting date at Altus is about 1,637 versus a typical 1,330, about 23 percent above normal.

He reported that a rainfall that occurred in mid-July “provided some badly needed moisture and delayed a potentially earlier cutout.” But many of those fields now are exhibiting considerable signs of moisture stress. “Although some boll set has occurred, unless rainfall occurs soon, these bolls will be extremely small, further limiting yield potential.”