Farmers: Remaining cautiously optimistic about this years crop

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GORDON, Ala. (WTVY) --- The next few weeks are vital to farmers. They've got their fingers crossed hoping for a bumper crop. This year’s crop has the potential to be a very profitable year for cotton farmers.

Courtesy: MGN Online
(Courtesy: MGN Online)

"You can probably only expect to have the possibility of this kind of crop/maybe once every 5 years sometimes maybe one every 10 years", said Extension Specialist, William Birdsong.

A major influence is the weather. The weather has been ideal for growers of the cotton plant. It’s been a perfect combination of wet and dry weather. It’s exactly what the crop needs. Birdsong says ideally what farmers are looking for in the next month; during the dog days of summer is one to two inches of rain a week followed by four days of dry weather. So far sporadic rain is what farmers have gotten.

"The crops have been established well. We got good plant stands. We’ve had some good rains through May and June and July", said Birdsong.

Even a good crop however doesn't necessarily translate into big profits for the farmer. Cotton prices are running around $0.65 to $0.70 which is down a nickel from last year. Even something as simple as a nickel could be the difference between just getting by and making a decent living wage.

"With the cheaper cotton prices, we need the production in order to get the dollar of revenue per acre", said Birdsong.

He compares it to a football game. The first half of the year for the crops has been great. In fact the “farmers” are leading however the game is still not over, leaving many farmers to remain cautiously optimistic.