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.
"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.