In spite of drought conditions throughout much of the Carolina-Virginia region, the cotton crop seems to be holding up reasonably well.
Virginia cotton looks best in the region with 14% of the crop rated excellent in the latest Crop Progress Report, released June 27 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. In addition, 82% of cotton in the state was rated as good and the remaining 4% of the Virginia crop was rated fair.
None of the cotton in Virginia was rated as poor or very poor.
Only 3% of cotton in North Carolina was rated excellent in the report. But 51% of TarHeel cotton was still rated to be in good condition and 39% was rated fair. Considering the lack of rain up to the time when the ratings were being formulated, most cotton growers would likely be pleased with that rating. Only 6% of the cotton was rated as poor in the report. One percent was rated very poor.
With a little bit more drought in South Carolina, cotton in the state was doing a little bit worse than its neighbor to the north. About 1% of the cotton crop was rated as excellent in South Carolina, 32% was rated good and 48% was rated as fair. About 18% of the crop was rated as poor and another 1% of South Carolina cotton was rated as very poor.
On the other hand, growers in the Carolina-Virginia region can compare their cotton to Texas and say thanks. Texas is the largest cotton producer in the U.S. by far but, in the midst of a blistering drought, 55% of the crop was rated as poor or very poor. The report puts the remaining 45% of the Texas crop in either the good or fair bracket.
By June 26 40% of the Virginia crop had reached the cotton squaring stage, compared to the 2006-2010 average of 20%. None of the crop had set bolls so far.
In North Carolina 62% of the cotton crop has reached the squaring stage; 56% is the five-year average in the state by this time of year. A reported 3% of Tarheel cotton was in the boll setting stage.
South Carolina cotton was rated at 25% in the squaring stage by June 26; the average for 2006-2010 is for 29% to have reached squaring. None of the South Carolina cotton was reported to be setting bolls by that date.
You can download the complete Crop Progress report at http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1048.