Aug 25, 2013

Farmers' Woes...

The 1932 Model PB Plymouth in front of a non-blooming cotton field
Today I took my 81-year-old 1932 Plymouth business coupe for a little early morning jaunt.  We cruised around the neighborhood past corn, soybeans, cattle, horses, and cotton fields.  It was partly cloudy and about 70 degrees.  Because of all the rain we've had in July and August, everything is uncharacteristically green and lush.  Mary Ann read in the paper that the wet weather may be disastrous for the cotton farmers.  Apparently it delays the formation of the flowers, which in turn delays the formation of the cotton bolls.  The Florence (AL) Times-Daily reported on the situation recently:
"Fewer farmers in northwest Alabama have grown cotton in recent years because of increased costs and unstable prices at harvest time. Franklin County farmer Thomas Murray said he still grows some cotton on his 1,250-acre operation “because I’ve always had good luck with it.” He also grows wheat, corn and soybeans.
“This has been the coolest and wettest year I’ve been around in more than 30 years,” Murray said. “The weather has been mean to the cotton crop. We were 30 to 45 days late getting it in. We usually have it planted in April, but it was May this year because it was cold and wet. We just haven’t had the 95- and 100-degree heat we need for cotton, either.”

Murray said his cotton crop yielded about three bales per acre last year. “This year I hope to make a bale per acre,” he said."

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