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Rain hampers cotton growers

By by Huck Treadwell
Special to The Advance
Heavy rains over the last week have caused some problems for local cotton farmers.
Farmers with cotton already in the ground are having problems with flooding, erosion and weeds and farmers that still have acreage to plant are at a critical stage in the planting season.
Rodney Helton, a local cotton farmer and partner with the West Florida Gin Company said the rain came at a critical time for cotton farmers, especially after nearly all off last year's crop was lost because of heavy rains.
Bennie Watson said the weather hadn't been a major factor to this point, but that farmers needed some dry weather in the days ahead.
Watson said he will plant about 700 acres of cotton and 1,200 acres of peanuts and has about 80 percent of the crops in the ground.
Helton said the rain caused some flooding in his fields, slight erosion and that weeds were beginning to pop up. He has about 80 percent of 3,000 acres of cotton and peanuts planted already.
Farrior estimated that approximately 30,000 acres of cotton would be planted in Escambia County. He estimated the yield for that amount of acreage to be about 45,000 pounds of cotton.