As one would guess DD-60 accumulation, or degree days optimal or better for cotton growth, is trending behind the long-term average.

What was somewhat surprising to me is that we are not as far behind the long-term average as I would have guessed. However, the last couple of weeks have been cool with 14 of the last 17 days accumulating fewer DD-60s than the long-term average for those dates. Fortunately the forecast for the next week looks to reverse that trend with average DD-60 accumulation for those days even or ahead of the long-term average.  Let’s hope that trend continues.

At least some of the cotton in the state looks very good and is flowering out of the top.  A large percentage of the cotton is flowering about half way up.  Unfortunately, there is some of the re-replant that is just now beginning to bloom this week.

For those very late planting date fields the question I have gotten is “should I cut my losses and not invest anymore?”  Let’s look at some recent past to help with this question.   

For Dyersburg, Tenn., the long-term average DD-60s accumulated from June 7 to October 1 is 2,257. So if you subtract the 1,173 units accumulated to date in 2013 for a June 7 planting date you have 1,084 DD-60s.  If one figures it takes 850 DD-60s to go from white bloom to cracked boll that means what flowers we see over the next two weeks have a great chance to a harvestable boll, but after that it can get sketchy. However, 7 of the last 10 years we have been able to acquire harvestable bolls for flowers seen well into August.

In football terms, it may not be 4th and long “time to punt” but it is definitely 3rd and long.  However, considering that 80 percent of the budget is already in this crop it probably best to roll the dice and keep managing it.