Cotton farmers see slight delay in harvest after rain - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/21/09

Cotton farmers see slight delay in harvest after rain

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By Katie Bauer - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Since Lubbock is behind its average rainfall, the overnight rain was welcomed by many, but for some area farmers it put a damper on their harvest.

"We heard we were having this front coming in with some chances of rain and so we ran a little bit later than we normally do last night," said cotton farmer Don Langston.

Langston says he worked a little overtime Tuesday night trying to get as many acres harvested as he could before the rain. "When the rain comes in of course we have to shut down, the ground gets a little wet and our machine won't run properly and of course with the wet humidity the leaves are wet, the plants are wet and so we have to wait until it dries out," said Langston.

"Most areas received less than 3/4 of an inch of rain a lot of areas only receiving two to three tenths of rain," said Executive Vice President of Plains Cotton Growers Steve Verett.  

But enough to delay cotton harvest for one to two days. Verett says farmers shouldn't worry yet, unless the rain becomes a habit. "It's susceptible if we get long periods of rain, a lot of rain to damaging of the what lint the quality of the crop can go down, the color can be not as bright, it can tend to stain the cotton, but with the amount of rain we had it should not be a problem," said Verett.

And while Langston may be out of work for a couple of days, it's not all that bad. "We don't really need the rain this time of year, but we never turn down a rain in West Texas," said Langston.

Experts predict Lubbock will harvest more than 3-million bales this year, about 700,000 more than last year.

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