Weather takes toll on La, Miss cotton

AP News
Posted: Nov 13, 2009 2:02 PM

A federal report has confirmed concerns about cotton production losses in Louisiana and Mississippi due to the wet fall.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week lowered production estimates from October, a month that brought abnormally wet weather to parts of the region, delaying harvest and lowering the quality of many farmers' cotton.

Farmers also began the year with fewer cotton acres, a continuation of a trend away from the costly-to-produce crop to corn and soybeans that offered better prices.

Based on Nov. 1 conditions, USDA estimates production in Louisiana will hit 360,000 bales. That's up from 2008's hurricane-affected crop but would still be one of the lowest production years since 1975.

In Mississippi, USDA estimates production will be at its lowest level since 1868, with 500,000 bales. Harvested acreage is expected to hit a record low.