Fred Bourland

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Arkansas, cotton, planting, fruiting, harvesting, crop yield, crop quality


While the basic growth and development of the cotton plant have not changed significantly in recent history, the business of cotton production is ever-changing. The last two years have seen us plant a crop just about as late as we thought possible, yet extended favorable conditions at season's end have been our salvation, helping to lead us to record yields. The economic environment over the last few years has been such that farmers need to produce record or near-record yields to advance. Unfortunately, production levels at the state yield average barely cover out-of-pocket expenses.

Great uncertainties exist for the upcoming 2022 season as it appears “business as usual” is out the door. While record prices are being seen for cotton lint, record increases in production inputs have far exceeded the pace of the increase of lint value. While we can lock in our lint price, input availability and cost are in question. Without judicious management and use of inputs, many feel it could be possible to not pay out even with cotton over $1.00 per pound. The need for recommendations of unbiased research- based cotton production practices is perhaps as great now as it has ever been. We are fortunate in Arkansas that publications such as this contain the latest research that validates and serves to fine-tune existing recommendations and is freely available to all.

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