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Planting deadline approaches as rainwater covers some fields

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Heavy rain affecting cotton farmers
The heavy rain is creating a dilemma for some our cotton growers, preventing them from getting the rest of their crop in the ground.(KCBD)

LUBBOCK, Texas (KJTV) - With water still on the ground in some areas, farmers are debating if they can get into the field to plant the remainder of their crop. The planting deadline for cotton growers to qualify for crop insurance is Saturday, June 5.

“That’s what guys are doing right now. They’re assessing their situation, seeing how much time is left on the planting date wherever they’re farming, and just trying to decide whether they stick with their original plan or whether they go to looking at some alternative crop,” Steve Verett, CEO at Plains Cotton Growers said.

Verett says in this area about 60 to 65 percent of seed is already in the ground.

“People will be planting, if it’s to where they can get into the field, they will for sure be planting up to that final planting date. No doubt about that,” Verett said.

Verett says cotton is more finicky in it’s early stages, so the next few weeks are critical. He says even though the weather hasn’t been ideal, they’re hearing the cotton crop is coming along alright for growers who planted in the last week to 10 days.

For those with empty rows, the deadline can’t be extended, but growers can plant into late planting period. It’s a week long, but costs a one percent reduction in insurance coverage for each day.

“But for some, they’re going to be looking at it and they’re going to be saying maybe I need to move to an alternative crop, whether that might be sorghum, whether that might be corn, some other crop that has a shorter growing season than cotton,” Verett said.

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