La Feria Cotton Farmer - We dodged a bullet with 'Don'
Tue, 02 Aug 2011 04:12:20 GMT —
This is one of the best cotton seasons on record for Wolf Farms in La Feria.
It's so good that cotton pickers have to slow down to avoid choking up machines from too much of the crop, according to owner Steve Wolf of Wolf Farms.
"The yields are tremendous, prices are great," he said.
But Wolf knows just how close he was to a near 40 percent estimated loss from a tropical storm.
"[We] Dodged a bullet."
Tropical Storm Don could have completely dethroned his king cotton with flooding rains and high wind.
"The storm totally dissipated... We maybe got a tenth of an inch of rain," he said.
But before "Don" turned into a dud on Friday as it hit south of the Corpus Christi coastline, it was a race against Mother Nature.
Wolf said he had all hands and machines on deck.
There were still some 300 planted acres left to be picked just hours before the storm's landfall.
"Anytime there's cotton to be picked... You want to pretend everyday there's a storm coming," Wolf said. "And that means pick as much as you can as fast as you can to avoid a humongous field loss."
That meant plants not fully ready were picked anyway.
Wolf estimates about a 5 percent loss in the mad rush to beat "Don."
He called it a small price to pay considering the alternative-- a ruined cotton crop from flooding and high winds.
"You can eat those [losses]... You want to get 90, 95 percent of the cotton picked ... And that's what you do... You go for it," Wolf said.
With the threat of a storm long gone, it's business as usual for Wolf Farms.
And business appears to be ripe for the picking, barring any new trouble from a tropical storm.