Days Of Heavy Rain Could Hurt Cotton Crop

October 12, 2004--Posted at 4:00 p.m. CDT

LAKE CITY --"Had you seen this field on was snow white across there,"said cotton farmer Danny Qualls.

Most cotton farmers begin their harvest season around October.

The dry conditions Region 8 has seen allows these farmers to sleep a little easier at night.

The cotton crop looked good.

"Of course what we didn't want was what we just got, 2 and a half inches of rain. What we need now is wind, and dry weather for the next two to three weeks,"said Qualls.

The cotton was in a stage where the bolls were half open.

Qualls says farmers were lucky there wasn't hard rain or wind to knock the bolls on the ground.

Some cotton bolls have obviously been damaged by the rain.

The rain can impact the appearance of the cotton which can lead to a decrease in value.

Ted Qualls operates cotton gins.

"Well this is where we store the cotton. We bring it in from the field to be ginned. We have to store it so we have enough to run 24 hours a day. As you can see it's wet, and we can't sit it on the wet ground, it soaks up water from the bottom, and it's awful hard to gin. It slows us down,"said Qualls.

While the heavy rains did soak the fields, luckily for the farmers, the weather up until now has been ideal for cotton farming.