Cotton harvest to be largest in past 5 years - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Cotton harvest to be largest in past 5 years

Cotton harvest to be largest in past 5 years

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Jourdan Bell / Source: KFDA Jourdan Bell / Source: KFDA

Local officials expect the cotton yield to be the highest the panhandle has seen in years but the quality could be impacted by recent weather.

Right now, the harvest is very promising and officials believe it will produce the largest amount of cotton the area has seen in five years.

Yet, officials said more rainy, damp weather could have a negative impact on the crops.

"Quality is very very important because our farmers are paid not just on lint, but also on the quality of those fibers," Agronomist Jourdan Bell said. "So, its very important that the crop is maintain to optimize lint in quality because if you have delays in harvest it can potentially impact quality in a negative way."

Bell explains the wet conditions mean farmers can not harvest their crops, so the longer cotton sits in the fields it faces a higher risk of degradation.

So far there haven't been too many harmful days in the fact, this year's weather has been really good on crops.

"This year we are really expecting to have a very good cotton harvest in the central to northern panhandle," Bell said. "We've had a very warm open fall which has really allowed this year's crop to mature and have additional fruit load develop, so we're really anticipating it will contribute to our final yields. We'll see good cotton yields across both dry land and irrigated acres."

As the cotton harvest continues around the panhandle officials said the it will have a positive impact on our economy. 

"You think about the High Plains and you got to realize cotton is a big industry, on a normal year sales are around $1.2 billion," Economist Steve Amosson said. "If we are doubling over than you're talking about a $2.8 to $3 billion impact on our local economy."

Officials said they have seen an increase in cotton acres this year and believe next year more area farmers will plant cotton.

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