Rain May Hurt Cotton Output, Quality Amid Harvest, Plexus Says

Cotton production and quality in the the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter, may be hurt by rain that fell during the past week, according to Plexus Cotton Ltd.

The timing was “inopportune” because “most fields are defoliated and ready for harvest,” the Liverpool, U.K.-based company said in an e-mailed report today. “In the mid-south, only around 25 percent had been picked prior to the rain, and it is therefore likely that the quality has suffered.”

Precipitation was 0.25 inch to 1.5 inches over the past week, with some growing areas getting more, said Kyle Tapley, a meteorologist with MDA Information Systems LLC. “At this point, rain is a bad thing for the crop since it slows the harvest and reduces crop quality,” he said in an e-mail from Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Over the past month, rainfall has been near to above normal across most producing regions, ranging from 85 percent to 175 percent of the seasonal average, Tapley said.

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