This year's first freeze set records for one of the latest on the books...almost a month later than normal.
The reason that's a problem for cotton growers is this: the first freeze kills the cotton plant causing the leaves to fall off, which needs to happen before harvesting can begin. So with the first freeze cotton farmers are quick to get to work baling up their cotton and getting it out of the field. They can then sell that cotton, finally making a profit and fueling the local economy.
Shawn Wade, with Plains Cotton Growers, says the year was long because it looked as though the cotton crop would be good early on only to be destroyed by hail. Also, dry crop farmers were forced to cope with rainfall totals that are about 50% below average.