The Cotton Crop - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

The Cotton Crop

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SHREVEPORT, La - There is no doubt that agri-business is big business. The American farmer keeps food on the table and clothes on our back. Yes, I am talking cotton.

 Locally, there has been a downward trend in the number of acres planted over the past few years. But for 2014 the numbers here are up .Stephen Logan is

 a third generation farmer in Gilliam Louisiana who has increased his acreage of cotton this planting season.He goes on to say "Well cotton is very important

 part of our farm and our crop mix. It's kind a hedge against the weather. All these crops different amounts of water. Different amounts of heat. So cotton is

 great mix. It fits our environment up here. It's a good rotation crop"And cotton board sees a big beginning this growing season. Bobby Skeen is the regional

 communications director and states "Right now the crop is off to an excellent start. We have gotten an adequate amount of rain fall. And we are actually glad

 to report that we are up on the number of acreage this year."The cotton acreage in Louisiana is now counted at one hundred eighty thousand acres. That an

 increase of more than sixty thousand acres from last year. Bobby Skeen explains "A lot of things contribute to that. One being the yields we set in Louisiana

 last year. We set a state record last year of a little more than twelve hundred pounds per acre. That was a shot in the arm to so many growers committed to

 growing cotton."And timing is critical early July is about mid way into the growing season. The prospect of another good year is in the works as farmers are

 cautiously optimistic .Stephan Logan gives more insight "We are just beginning what we call the fruiting stage. The cotton plant is blooming or putting on the

 bolls of cotton. And so for about the next six weeks that's what we are going to concentrate on. We are going to protect it from insects. and try to give it the

 water that it needs if mother nature doesn't do it for us. Mainly what we need is sunshine and a little bit of rain along and the cotton plant will take care of the

 rest."And that end result will be measured in late August or September which is the peak harvest season for cotton.On one other note. Gilliam is home to

 only one of two cotton gins north of Shreveport. This gin helps to create spin off jobs related to cotton and will be bustling with activity when the harvest

 arrives in September. My plan is to return for a follow up.

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