Wilder says they have harvested seventy-five of the nine-hundred acres of cotton they planted. â€œTypically weâ€™re through by now, preparing seed beds for next year, planting wheat, doing other things, but here we are almost November first and just really getting geared up to hopefully get started picking.â€
And if youâ€™re wondering why Wilder wasnâ€™t picking while is wasnâ€™t raining this week, he says, â€œWe donâ€™t want to go in and rut the fields up, and weâ€™re naturally going into the winter time so field work is going to become a premium time wise. So we try not to create any more of a mess than we think that we can clean up. I donâ€™t think weâ€™ll have enough time if we get the rains we typically would to get the fields back in shape for planting.â€
And how does what happened this year compare to last yearâ€™s hurricane, he answers, â€œWhen we had Harvey and we had about twenty-eight inches of rain in a two or three day period, that was much more manageable. It came and it went. And then you were able to get started relatively in the same normal time frame. This year itâ€™s just been rain after rain after rain. I think we had sixteen, eighteen days of rain, of measurable amounts in October.â€
October of 2018 will go down as one of the top ten wettest Octobers since records have kept. Thatâ€™s turned out to be a very bad thing for area cotton farmers. Jay Wilder grows cotton in Burleson County. He says, â€œWeâ€™ve had cotton ready to harvest now for seven or eight weeks. We defoliated some starting early September time frame. Usually itâ€™s like a ten day, two week process to get it from the first defoliation to harvest. During the defoliation process youâ€™re just trying to remove all of the leaves from the plant and to get the bolls that have not opened to go ahead and open.â€
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