This weekend I drove down to Memphis and have to admit, I really enjoyed the fact I wasn’t on a tight deadline! I did well getting on the road early and made great time, well, that is until I reached the part of Missouri that is part of the Cotton Belt. Yes, I moved a lot slower once I got to the Missouri Bootheel!
I was able to resist the urge to check the cotton crop up close for a few exits, but by the time I reached Hayti, it was clear. I HAD TO STOP. Now I could attribute this need to stop to the fact I was sure that some of my blog peeps (ie you) would like to see what the cotton and corn crops look like in the south, but really, it is also because I just wanted to see some cotton myself!
I will let the video do most of the talking….
As you can see, the cotton crop is up and it is growing well. For growth stages of cotton before it starts putting on blooms, we usually talk about the number of true leaves or fruiting branches the plants have. I saw plants that ranged from 4-6 true leaves in this field, but others were 8-12 true leaves.
Although glyphosate-resistant pigweed used to be a massive problem in this area, farmers here have made great progress in controlling the weed through a program approach and that is reducing the seed bank. The fields I saw along the highways were much cleaner than a couple of years ago.
Corn is looking good too. I saw some great looking fields but it was clear that irrigation is making a big difference this year. It has been a really weird spring. It has been drier than normal but more importantly, it has been really hot too! The combination is taking its toll on farm fields across the US and the corner of this corn field shows it.
Cotton can weather the environmental conditions a little bit better but it still needs some moisture.
What questions do you have about these crops?