Cotton farmers glad for dry week - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cotton farmers glad for dry week

Jimmy Webb Jimmy Webb

June 27, 2003

Calhoun County -- The lack of rain this week in South Georgia is just what the farmers need. After five years of drought,a very wet spring helped cotton farmers start one of their best crops in decades. But many farmers say they needed this dry week, to keep their plants healthy.

Jimmy Webb is spreading potash in the 1,600 acres of cotton he planted in Calhoun County. Spring Rain was a blessing, but muddy fields mean his tractors stay parked.

Webb needed this dry week to fight weeds and put out fertilizer. Webb said "We have really caught up this week. We needed to. We needed a break in the weather. If you've been riding around South Georgia you've seen many a tractor in the fields getting a lot done."

Coffee weeds are popping up in his cotton, and could rob the plants of nutrients. Those weeds could mean a smaller yield at harvest time.

The spring rains has Webb fighting weeds more than in recent years. "With the excessive rainfall we've had this year, roundup is a contact killer. And this cockle burrow was not up when we sprayed the roundup. So now it has come up since. Now I'm going to have to do a treatment I don't normally. I'm going to come in here and plow and direct spray, because I have to got have a clean crop."

More Southwest Georgia farmers planted cotton this year, and so far it looks like a bumper crop. And it looks like the price for their crop will be high. Webb said "Our crop looks the best in the whole United States. There are problems in other parts of the country. If their problems continue, and our crop continues like it looks right now, we make a good crop, maybe price will go up and we'll do better."

Most South Georgia cotton farmers were late planting, but with abundant rain the plants should catch up and still be harvested as usual in mid-September.

posted at 4:00 by jimw@walb.com

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