USDA collects and publishes weekly data on the condition of the cotton crop. The condition is broken into five categories from very poor to excellent. According to this data, it appears that the summer drought and excessive heat has had a larger impact on the condition of the cotton crop than Hurricane Hermine. Since the end of May we have seen a steady decline in the cotton crop ratings for the top three categories – good, fair, and excellent; with these categories combined at 97% in the beginning of the season and remaining above 90% until last week of July. Prior to Hurricane Hermine the crop stood at 87% in the good or better categories; after the hurricane we only lost two percentage points down to 85% with 15% of the crop now rated poor or very poor. The green vertical line in the graph below indicates Hermine’s landfall week. You can see that the numbers have only moved slightly since then as the ‘good’ percentages were falling and the ‘poor’ percentages were already rising prior to the hurricane.
One should note that the percentage of ‘poor’ (yellow line) and the percentage of ‘very poor’ (dark blue line) have risen throughout the season at the expense of the ‘good’ category (grey line). Both ‘excellent’ (light blue) and ‘fair’ (orange) have remaining almost constant throughout the season.
To learn more about this and many other cotton topics visit our website at http://www.GeorgiaCottonCommission.org.