Drought Make Have Taken Significant Part Of Texas Cotton

Many areas haven't had enough rain to support crops this summer in some parts of Texas for cotton and other crops plus rangeland and pastures.

Published on: Jul 20, 2012

Last year, Texas abandoned more than 4 million acres of the 7.7 million acres of cotton planted due to the historic 2011 Drought. While this year started better for some, the drought certainly isn't over for some crop farmers or ranchers.

Some Texas cotton already has been abandoned and much cotton is just holding on.

Carl Anderson, Texas A&M cotton marketing expert, College Station, notes that of the 6.8 million acres planted in Texas this year, the irrigated acreage only amounts to 2 million to 2.5 million acres. And even some of that is limited irrigation.

GOOD YEAR. With its greater drought tolerance than corn, and its ability to be planted later than cotton, sorghum is doing well this year in Texas, with plantings up by about 750,000 acres over last year.
GOOD YEAR. With its greater drought tolerance than corn, and its ability to be planted later than cotton, sorghum is doing well this year in Texas, with plantings up by about 750,000 acres over last year.

"Hot, dry conditions have either destroyed or set back much of the dryland crop from the Coastal Bend to the Southern High Plains areas," Anderson observes.

There just hasn't been general rainfall across Texas.

"Favorable rains tend to be isolated to local regions," Anderson laments. "However, the irrigated—and some dryland acreage—could improve with timely rain in late July and August."

Earlier in the season, in more hopeful times of a turnaround from the drought, Anderson was thinking perhaps 20% or 25% of the Texas crop could be abandoned this year. Now he sees a higher figure.

"Abandonment of Texas cotton acreage might be around 30 percent," he says.