Arkansas, cotton, planting, fruiting, harvesting, crop yield, crop quality
Statewide, temperatures and precipitation were mostly above average (https://www.weather.gov/lzk/cli2019atxt.htm). The 2019 season was the wettest since 2015, and the 7th wettest on record. The wettest month was May, and the driest month was September. By average temperature, the coldest month was January, and the warmest month was August. Considering departures from normal, the most significant warmth occurred in September, which was 7.0 degrees above average. Many fields were muddy or underwater, given a lot of rain early in the year, and extensive river flooding (including the historic Arkansas River flood). It was far too wet in some areas of the state for any planting during the beginning of the growing season. In August, The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report stating that Arkansas had 38,068 acres of cotton unplanted (or prevented) (https://www.fsa.usda.gov/news-room/news-releases/2019/report-farmers-prevented-from-planting-crops-on-more-than-19-million-acres). Arkansas producers harvested 610,000 acres of cotton in 2019, up 27% from 2018 (https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Arkansas/Publications/Crop_Releases/Annual_Summary/2019/arannsum19.pdf). The yield is expected to average 1102 pounds per harvested acre, down 31 pounds from last year. Production is estimated at 1.40 million bales, up 24% from 2018. In the last five years, cotton acreage in Arkansas has steadily increased from an all-time low of 210,000 acres in 2015 to 610,000 planted acres in 2019. One reason for the increase can be attributed to a downturn in prices received by producers for commodities such as corn and soybean, which compete for acres with cotton. This increase of acres continues to push our ginning capacity of 28 gins in 2018 and on-farm picker capacity to the limit. Arkansas producers have averaged 1124 lb lint/ac over the last five years producing an average of 860,000 bales per year. Total average value of Arkansas cotton to the Arkansas economy has been over 284 million dollars per year. Each of the last five years has yields that rank historically in the top 7 of all time. Arkansas currently ranks fourth in 2019 cotton production behind Texas, Georgia, and Mississippi.
Bourland, F. (2020). Summaries of Arkansas Cotton Research 2019. Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Series. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/aaesser/164