Farmers Say Rain Threatening Crops - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/10/05

Farmers Say Rain Threatening Crops

Ginners say the grade and the color of the cotton looks better than last year. However, the rain could change all that. Cotton and peanut farmer Cliff Bingham checked 14 rain gages Monday morning. His crops were showered with an inch of rain. "Two rains back to back, we're starting to get a little bit concerned. We're ready for it to dry up," said Cliff.

He says the rain has several effects on the cotton. He says it can sour the cotton and stain it as the rain knocks it in the mud. "As it rains, it also leeches out some of the oils which make it a lighter weight cotton, so you're losing weight as it rains," said Cliff.

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Cotton Ginner Dan Jackson says rain and mud slows down the ginning process. He says farmers are waiting for the fields to dry to harvest the crops. Until then, it is a waiting game. Dan says also with natural gas prices doubling this year. They will have to increase ginning prices if it keeps raining.

"If it stays wet, we have to run it as a high temperature to dry the cotton to get it ginned. It creates extra expenses," said Jackson.

For the peanut crops, it is the same story. If the peanuts stay moist, Cliff says there is a chance it could develop mold.

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