Heavy rainfall dumped by recent storms and hurricanes damaged some Arkansas cotton. Ashley and Chicot counties, in the southeastern corner of the state, were hardest hit.
"They'd had 18 inches of rains, starting about August 10, before Hurricane Gustav hit. Then Ike hit and they've had 30 to 40 inches since that mid-August time frame. They've had 40 to 45% losses in that cotton,” says Tom Barber, Arkansas Extension cotton specialist.
"Central and northeastern Arkansas cotton has had maybe 10% damage, at most. Most of the damage in the northern part of the state came from wind.”
Before the heavy rains, Barber expected Arkansas to set a yield record. No more.
"We had a fantastic crop out there. A number of farmers told me it was the best crop they'd ever had. I don't hear that much any more. We'll still have a good crop but it's not nearly what it was,” he says.