RAYMOND, Miss. (WJTV) – Leaders with the Mississippi State University (MSU) Extension Service said early May delivered favorable weather conditions for most of Mississippi’s cotton producers, allowing them to get their crops in the ground at the ideal time.

“We’re getting close to having 100% of the crop planted. We’re getting close to having 100% of the crop planted. We haven’t seen that in the last few years because of the weather. But we had two or three weeks of good weather during that optimal planting window between May 1 and 10. A lot of growers were finished by May 10,” said Brian Pieralisi, MSU Extension Service cotton specialist and researcher with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

Some acreage in the far north, far south and the Delta account for the unplanted acres as of May 23. Areas in the north and south were a little too dry, while a sandblasting event destroyed some young plants north of Highway 82 in Bolivar and Coahoma Counties.

Pieralisi said he expects those areas to be planted and replanted within the next two weeks. A wet spring delayed planting in 2021, which caused some growers to plant soybeans on acreage originally intended for cotton.

Part of the increase in 2022 cotton acreage reflects growers getting back to that 2021 intended acreage. High commodity prices also played a part. While plants have just emerged, Pieralisi said everything is going well.

Will Maples, Extension agricultural economist, said prices are good. December futures, which represent the price for the new crop, are currently trading around $1.25 per pound. USDA estimates the farm price at 90 cents per pound for the 2022-2023 marketing year.

However, prices could go higher if drought conditions in the U.S. Southern Plains worsen.