OSU's Seth Byrd Says September Could Make or Break Oklahoma Cotton CropMon, 30 Aug 2021 08:58:13 CDT
Despite a slow start for Oklahoma’s cotton crop, the stars are beginning to align, which has cotton producers crossing their fingers as we head into September. Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Cotton Agronomist Seth Byrd told Radio Oklahoma’s KC Sheperd that with how August treated the state’s cotton crop plus consistently high prices per pound of cotton, its shaping up to be a great year.
“In the last two (to four) weeks, the crop has really improved,” Byrd said.
Oklahoma producers knew the 2021 crop had potential but just in recent weeks, growth and maturity are indicating the majority of the crop is where it needs to be, Byrd said. On top of that, cotton futures are staying consistent at around 90 cents per pound, he added.
Although things may be great now, the next 40 days are crucial for cotton, Byrd said. Just last year, Oklahoma cotton producers didn’t meet projected harvest numbers because of bad weather in September, he added.
“I think most people would say that September is probably our most critical month,” Byrd said. “If we can just have average September weather, I think we’ll come out of this really looking good.”
Byrd said at this point, it is tough to predict a harvest timeline for this season. Cotton crop progress is tracked by flowering and boll-growth on cotton plants, according to Byrd.
“I think from a boll-opening perspective, I think you could still see some late-September harvest,” Byrd said.
One thing Byrd can predict - if all goes well in September - is more green leaf on the plant. Regardless, he thinks Oklahoma cotton producers will be well into the harvest by mid-October.
Click or tap the LISTEN BAR below to hear KC’s conversation with Seth Byrd, where they also discuss the vast array of pests Oklahoma cotton producers have dealt with - from the usual pests, like thrips and flea hoppers to less-common pests, such as wireworms and even armyworms.
Check out KC’s story on Oklahoma’s fall armyworm infestation here.
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