LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Growers were expecting an exceptional cotton crop this year, and even after some weather fluctuations, the crop looks good.
"The harvest for the most part, from a quality perspective, started off a little bit rough. From a color, a staple lengths perspective, the crop is really good. We're still running into a little issue with the micronaire, which is basically a relative measurement of maturity of the fiber," said Steve Verett, Executive Vice President, Plains Cotton Growers.
The cotton harvest is well underway and those busy at work say they have been blessed with good harvesting weather overall.
"Very good harvest weather with the exception of a little wind and about two weeks ago when we had some high humidity and some overcast skies. It kind of slowed things down, but with the exception of that, it's been a pretty good harvest weather conditions," Verett said.
Experts say the crop is coming out fast and they are at about 65 percent harvested over the South Plains area.
"If we get this week, which looks like the weather is going to be good, we will be approaching that 75 to 80 percent probably by the end of the week," Verett said.
Although they had high hopes for an exceptional crop, this year's harvest will still be good.
"Anytime our area when we talk about the High Plains of Texas, can yield more than 5 million bales - which is what we're on target to do - we've got to say that's a good crop," Verett said.
This year's harvest is looking to be comparable to last year's good crop, which was the first year to yield more than 5 million bales since 2010.
The price of cotton isn't exactly where they want it to be, but it's not low. The price for the cotton seed itself is down, so that will reduce revenue for farmers as they try to sell it.
If you drive past a cotton field, you may notice the different shapes the cotton is harvested in. Although this isn't brand new equipment, more and more farmers are starting to use the round bale harvesters instead of basket harvesters.
"With the round bale harvesters, the wind is not as much of a factor because all of the cotton is harvested, run through the machine, and then is wrapped in the round bales, so you don't have that dumping that exposes it to the wind. With the round bale harvesters that has helped certainly in windier conditions," Verett said.
When the humidity gets low and the wind is high, harvesters still have the fire risk with either type of equipment.