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Rain brings relief to some cotton farmers & risks to others
19
Aug '08
Recent monsoon showers have brought relief to cotton farmers in Arkansas who are now confident of having a good crop this season. However, some of them fear that the rains have been accompanied by a certain amount of risks to the yield.

While some of the farmers actually saved on costs since they did not have to depend on wells for irrigation, there are others who are afraid that the recent downpours may bring boll rot in some of the acreage in southeast Arkansas which is one of the effects of precipitation.

Rains have probably broken up some insect patterns and to avoid damages caused by them, growers will need to spray insecticides, in the last few weeks before the maturity of the cotton crop.

Nearly 10 to 15 percent of Arkansas cotton acres are not irrigated which means that most of those areas won't have a good yield. But the rest of the cultivated cotton land is anticipated to produce a healthy yeild of 1,000-1,100 pounds per acre.

However, a major problem facing the farmers is that of cotton prices which have dipped considerably in the recent times. On the contrary, input costs have significantly gone high. Starting from pesticides to fertilizers and fuel for the pumps, all have shown a startling rise in prices from a year ago.

Additionally, about 700,000 acres have been planted with cotton this year which is down from 860,000 acres cultivated last year. This decline in acreage is also arousing concern because if the trend continues, farmers are likely to switch over to growing other crops like soybeans and corn whose cost of production is comparatively less than that of cotton.

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