Lack of rain hurts Valley cotton crop

Dry weather hurt the Rio Grande Valley's cotton crop, leaving dry-land farmers with a lower yield — despite planting more acres than normal.

Texas farmers grow more cotton than any other state, and Harligen traditionally produces the first cotton bale in the nation.

"This is going to be the largest amount of acres the Valley has had in many years," said Brady Taubert of the Harlingen Cotton Committee. "But yield-wise — we're not going to set a record yield because its been so dry."

Farmers who plant dry-land cotton — cotton that isn't irrigated — rely on rain.

"If we would have got a good rain in April it would have been twice the crop it is now," said farmer Levi Burns of Cameron County, who planted both irrigated and dry-land cotton over about 2,800 acres.

Many farmers planted the current crop in February and plan to harvest in July.

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