The Texas cotton crop has had a rough year thanks to blistering heat and an extensive drought. Although cotton harvest is more than 60 percent complete across the 12-county Southern Rolling Plains region, about 82 percent is done throughout Texas.

“Because of the drought, little dryland cotton — crops that rely solely on rainfall — was produced this year. Major production is coming from irrigated farms, so this fall's harvest season will be short and sweet,” said Rick Minzenmayer of Ballinger, the integrated pest manager for Runnels and Tom Green counties.

"This season is about over, thank goodness," Minzenmayer said. "Hot, dry conditions throughout the growing season have made the cotton crop one of the most challenging on record."

The 12-county SRP region entered the growing season last spring with 357,000 acres of planted cotton, said Randall Conner of Winters, Southern Rolling Plains Cotton Growers Association executive director. This year's projected yield is about 22,000 bales of cotton. Last year, the region produced 187,048 bales. The record crop was in 2007 when 301,848 bales were produced.

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