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.