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Agricultural News

OSU's Seth Byrd Expects Oklahoma Producers to Plant Around 500,000 Acres to Cotton This Spring

Tue, 30 Mar 2021 03:50:19 CDT

OSU's Seth Byrd Expects Oklahoma Producers to Plant Around 500,000 Acres to Cotton This Spring Oklahoma cotton producers are gearing up for the 2021 growing season as many expect to begin planting in early May.

Seth Byrd, OSU Extension Cotton Specialist and 2021 Cotton Specialist of the Year, was recently interviewed by Radio Oklahoma Agriculture Network Associate Farm Director and Editor KC Sheperd.

As he reviews the situation going into the spring Byrd said there is some uncertainty regarding how many acres will be planted in cotton country but doesn’t expect much change for Oklahoma.

I think we’re going to be close to where we thought at around 500,000 acres, Byrd said.

The general trend for most cotton states is down, but Oklahoma is not going to be down as much as other states, he said.

Other states have more options to plant something else than we do in Oklahoma, he said.

My gut feeling is if we saw a big change in acres between now and May it would have to be a big price spike and some other factor, Byrd said.

The OSU cotton specialist said producers are faced with some key planting decisions this year.

Producers hopefully have their variety selection complete, and we’ve encouraged producers to do their research on where the seed was grown, Byrd said.

You’re going to have several different sources where the seed was grown, Byrd said.

Other management factors now include having their herbicides down and having a game plan ready for the next step after planting, he said.

The seed variety will depend on where you live as the selection is a huge factor.

That is one decision that you can’t take back, he said.

Maturity is a big factor as you move north, Byrd said.

Dryland versus irrigated cotton land is also a factor.

You have to find that happy median in terms of varieties, he said.

The weather drives a lot of the performance, he added.

When you’re looking for variety data, look for trials in your area under management decisions similar to yours, Byrd said.

Cotton is a funny creature and there is a big difference in how the varieties respond to different conditions, he said.

There are a few rare varieties out there that are stable within a certain environment, he said.

Cotton is so unique, and producers are always optimistic as they often prepare for the worse, Byrd quipped.

We’re cautiously optimistic but realistic as we prepare for the year, Byrd said.

Cotton is a good crop for stubborn people, he said.

It’s a tough crop and it’s not always going to reward you every year but then you have a good year and you get hooked, Byrd said.

Most people in cotton country are modest because this crop will humble you, Byrd said.

The OSU expert adds cotton is a vital crop and important for our lives and economy.

It’s a great crop to work with, Byrd said.

Click on the listen bar below to hear more of KC’s interview with Seth Byrd.


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