Experts: Miss. Farmers may see good production year

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Specialists say cotton farmers are

having a good production year despite a late start, but the prices

haven't caught up.

Mississippi State University Extension agronomist Darrin Dodds

said a wet spring across the state's cotton-growing areas delayed

planting. And, he said the extremely dry weather in June and July

may lead to a later harvest.

Still, many farmers expect yields to be good in 2008, although

expectations for better prices are tempered by the economic reality

of the past two years.

Dodds said this year's crop probably won't surpass the statewide

average of 960 pounds per acre reached in 2007.

He said average cotton production cost is about $700 an acre.

However, fertilizer prices, pest pressure and pumping expenses

could inflate this cost for individual farmers. Cotton prices

approached 98 cents per pound early in the spring, but he said

farmers had a difficult time finding buyers.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)