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By Fred Miller firstname.lastname@example.org U of A System Division of AgricultureDec. 15, 2017
(310 words)(Download this story in MS Word format here.)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Despite a rocky start, the Arkansas cotton harvest appears poised
for a record outcome.
Overall, the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service forecasts Arkansas cotton
yields at 1.06 million bales in November, up 220,000 bales from a year earlier. That
averages to 1,162 pounds of cotton per harvested acre, 87 pounds above 2016.
“We’re headed for an all-time record yield on cotton,” said Bill Robertson, extension
cotton agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
Robertson said heavy rains kept tractors out of the fields during the heart of Arkansas’
cotton planting season from late April through early May. Some growers had their cotton
planted before the rains drove them out of the fields, and then those early fields
were hit hard by weeks of wet weather.
Growers who planted late, after fields dried out, started out behind the calendar,
but well-timed late rains gave them a boost, Robertson said.
“At the end of most years, early cotton has generally been better because it took
advantage of spring rains,” Robertson said. “But the last two years, the late cotton
caught the timely rains, especially in northeastern counties.”
Robertson said cotton yields north of Interstate 40 have been high while yields south
of there were average to a little better than average.
Despite the soggy start, Arkansas cotton acreage was up in 2017, Robertson said. Growers
planted about 440,000 acres of upland cotton, an increase of more than 60,000 acres
The extra acreage helped boost Arkansas’ cotton harvest. Robertson said cotton also
benefitted from lighter disease pressure in 2017. Growers also adapted what they learned
from similar weather patterns in 2016, he said, so plants were better managed for
fertilizer and pest control.
All that cotton will likely have the state’s gins running until about Christmas, Robertson
said. Ginning was finished by Dec. 1 in 2016.
For more information about crop production, contact your county extension office or
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
By Mary HightowerThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com