Arizona Cotton Growers Expect Crop To Be Good If Fair Weather Persists

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Monday, November 23, 2015 - 7:21am
Updated: Monday, November 23, 2015 - 10:42am

The El Niño system predicted for this winter could help ease drought conditions in Arizona. But, too much rain could be too much of a good thing for cotton growers.

It’s about midway in the cotton harvest for Arizona and cotton growers in the West Valley are expecting a good yield, as long as the good weather holds.

One measure of cotton quality is color, and if a lot of rain comes during harvest, that could degrade the color. Gary Phelps, manager at Olam Cotton Valencia Gin, said they hope to see the same yield or better than last year. “The Arizona cotton farmer needs to make that because the prices are not so favorable at the moment," Phelps said. "There’s a lot of supply in the world and it’s depressed the pricing, unfortunately,”

Phelps said the price of cotton is down because overall supply is high. In Arizona, that means farmers are turning to other crops. “Those can be grains, forage crops take some acres away from cotton as well, And those prices have dropped off a little bit so we expect maybe an increase this coming year in 2016,” he said. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture crop report says national cotton production is down 20 percent from last year.

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