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Cold wet spring makes for later cotton blooms this year

STARKVILLE — The Mississippi State University Extension Service says a cold, wet spring has slowed cotton development by about 10 days this year.

An extension news release adds that cotton producers also are battling plant bugs, bollworms and dry weather as they work to bring their crops to harvest.

Darrin Dodds, cotton specialist with the Extension Service, said bolls on most of the cotton across the state should begin to open by mid- to late August.

Dodds said that, in the past four years, cotton as bloomed from 52 to 55 days after planting. This year it will be 62 to 65 days.

The extension says U.S. Department of Agriculture figures show Mississippi cotton growers planted about 305,000 acres of cotton this year, down from 420,000 acres in 2014.

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