Virginia Cotton: There are Reasons to Plant Early
April 20 is the unofficial calendar day for the beginning of our local cotton planting season.
In modern cotton production, we have a 40-day window for planting that extends through the entire month of May. We have had better production from our later planting dates for two years in a row, but there are still a lot of reasons to plant a portion of the cotton acreage early.
For one, we never know when the summer rains will hit or how warm it will be in September and October. The second main reason to plant some acres early is to be able to start picking some fields early.
Even with a few incentives to plant a portion early, nobody will be tempted to plant into the cool wet weather we are expecting to develop the first of next week.
While the weekend, especially Saturday, is going to be nice, there will be some mighty frigid air arriving late Sunday. All of this is supposed to end by Wednesday of next week and I am hoping that we will get some planters moving by the middle to the end of next week — unless things change.
Long-term forecasting is predicting above average temperatures and below average moisture for early May.