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Early planters have suffered the most

Weather unkind to cotton

The planting of cotton in Mississippi has been retarded by adverse weather so far this year, in some cases forcing replanting.

“Flash flooding, heavy rains and hail are causing more replanting decisions than normal for Mississippi growers, and those who planted early have suffered the most,” said Dr. Will McCarty, cotton specialist with Mississippi State University’s Extension Service. “There are areas in South Mississippi still waiting for a rain, and they are too dry to plant; there are other areas waiting to dry out so they can finish planting the first time or to replant.”

The Mississippi Agricultural Statistics Service said 78% of the state’s crop was planted as of May 16, about 10% behind the five-year average.

McCarty said sand blasting, sand blown against the plants, has historically not been a widespread problem in Mississippi, but it has been a problem so far this year.

“We have had several weather events across the state that have produced severe damage,” McCarty said. “In fact, there is the possibility that some 3,000 to 5,000 acres may be replanted due to the effects of sand damage. This figure could go higher as temperatures increase and wind-driven sand damage continues to build.”

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