Cotton drying out, farmers back in field - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cotton drying out, farmers back in field

^ Wet cotton ^ Wet cotton
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December 4, 2002

Dougherty County - Cotton farmers are behind schedule this year. Dougherty County Farmer, Lanny Wooten, says, "We needed the rain, but we didn't need it during that time."

South Georgia farmers are back in the fields, catching up on lost time. Wet cotton has put a damper on this year's harvest. But, the past few weeks have been dry outside letting farmers take care of business.

Cotton farmers normally finish picking mid December, but this year some farmers will stretch harvesting to February.

The cotton picker starting is music to the ears for cotton farmers. Wooten says, "We had a real good crop until it started raining. The first 300 acres we picked did real good."And then it kept raining, putting cotton pickers on hold. He explains, "When it starts raining three or four days or a week, you've got a lot of cotton that's ready to pick it. It doesn't take long to get concerned."

Wooten finally finished harvesting, but pickers don't like wet cotton. He lost at least 300 pounds on the ground and his fellow farmers are still struggling. Wooten says, "A lot of cotton still in the field...people today still good ways to go."

Wooten already started planting wheat. While the wheat tractor squeaks on, his cotton picker will finally rest until next year.

The Dougherty County Extension Service says 65 percent of farmers have finished picking cotton, but this time last year it was more like 90 percent.

posted at 5:19PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com