The federal government is lowering cotton production estimates for Louisiana and Mississippi as the toll from the rain-delayed harvest becomes clearer.
Based on Dec. 1 conditions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast Louisiana production at 330,000 bales and Mississippi's at 450,000. That compares to last month's estimates of 360,000 bales and 500,000 bales, respectively.
The latest figures, released Thursday, come with harvest at or near completion in the region, and reflect lower-than-expected yields.
While production would be higher than last year's hurricane-affected level in Louisiana, 2009 would still be one of the state's lowest production years in decades. It would be the lowest in Mississippi since 1868.
Nationwide, USDA estimates slightly lower cotton production, at 12.6 million bales.