Welcome to our Ag Blog. Our field scouts will offer a unique ground-level perspective from the field to you as an independent field scout with the San Joaquin Sustainable Farming Project. Our mission is to promote sustainable farming systems throughout the Central Valley and provide you with the latest information about cotton, almond and alfalfa crops. From time to time, you'll also find guest posts from our project team and other contributors. This Blog is produced by Gilbert Mohtes-Chan.
Monday, October 9, 2017
Six Months Later – It’s Finally Time to Pick Cotton
Sometimes it seems the
time would never arrive for the cotton harvest. But cotton picking is in full
You can see harvesters criss-crossing fields, picking puffy white fiber
from the cotton plants. You see cotton modules parked along the field margins
and ready to be hauled to nearby gins.
Cotton harvesters are working around the clock.
CreThroughout the month, crews
will be working around the clock, seven days a week to beat the chance of
inclement weather playing havoc with growers.
You have to go back to
April when growers planted the seeds for this year’s crop. Then it takes about
180 to 200 days to reach full maturity and become ready for harvest in October.
Of course, the timing of the harvest varies from locale to locale. A few
growers got an early jump and started harvesting in late September, says field
scout Damien Jelen. But October is the big month.
It has been a fairly
normal season for cotton. While water is always a constant worry, supplies seem
to be plentiful for irrigation. That is a welcome relief after five years of
Growers responded to the wet year by boosting
cotton acreage this season.
Growers planted more cotton this season compared to 2016.
The U.S. Department of
Agriculture forecast a nice bump up in California cotton
production this year. The upland/acala cotton harvest is estimated at 90,000
acres, up 45.2 percent from 62,000 in 2016.
For high-quality pima
cotton, the USDA predicts 208,000 acres will be harvested in 2017, a 32.5
percent increase from 154,000 acres last year. California continues to dominate
the Pima market, planting 85 percent of the variety in the United States.
Speaking of harvest, the Sustainable Cotton
Project’s Annual Cotton Tour is
coming up. The event provides a unique opportunity to get an inside look at
cotton production – from the field to the gin. Set for Tuesday, October 24,
from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the cost is $40 a person, which covers bus
transportation and lunch at the Cardella Winery in Mendota. For more
information or to register go to the following link:https://scpcottontour2017.eventbrite.com