First frost could be good news for Idalou cotton producer

Low temperatures may be good for cotton crop

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - An Idalou cotton producer hopes after what he calls an average growing season, Thursday night’s low temperatures will bring frost, which he says will help his cotton crop get ready for harvest.

KCBD Chief Meterologist John Robinson says temperatures are expected to fall into the low 30s Thursday night. Harmon says if there’s a light frost, it will help the leaves come off the crop, which will make it more valuable after it’s harvested.

“We need the right temperature for the leaves to fall off and go to the ground and not contaminate the lint," Harmon said. “This cotton needs a light frost to make these leaves go ahead and do their natural falling off.”

Harmon says there were plentiful amounts of rain in September after a dry June and July. He says rain caused a regrowth, so now there’s leaves that aren’t as brittle as the leaves that grew earlier, meaning it won’t be as easy for them to fall off, but he says if the Lubbock and Idalou areas see extreme cold temperatures at this stage, it could hurt his crop.

“An extreme change in temperature will cause these leaves to stick to the plant and when a mechanical harvester comes through, they get grind up into the lint, which is very detrimental to your price and then eventually end use of this for your customer," he said. “In the 20s or teens probably wouldn’t be a good thing. There needs to be time to set it up for the moisture to go out of it a little at a time.”

Harmon says he’s going to be using a defoliant as soon as possible to get rid of the leaves to get ready for harvest.

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