Local farmer worries consistent rains could harm cotton crop


SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Local farmers making a living off the land live or die by the weather.

Like a scientific formula, you need just the right amount of sun and rain. Too much or too little can create problems that hit the bottom line.

Our area has received a lot of rain over the last week, but nothing record breaking. The problem is there have not been consistent dry days in a row.

David Bosselman, a farmer from Suffolk, said he could be losing money as a result. 

“I said ‘you know we gone get started on the cotton, we gone get finished early this year. Maybe by Thanksgiving I’m gonna have all my cotton finished.’ It has not worked out,” he said.

Bosselman’s dreams of an easy harvest season are quickly dwindling.

“The water doesn’t go away this time of year. The trees are going dormant and the sun is not shining really hot to evaporate it, so it gets pretty wet this time of year,” he said.

As a fourth generation farmer he knows that means the cotton crop could be in danger.

“The weather affects it; it affects the grade of the cotton you know. You hang your clothes on a clothes line and it’s all rainy or dewy, it will get kind of a blackish mold almost.”

“If you get a lot of rain like we’ve been getting, it’s rotted this cotton so you really need good weather when it starts cracking open, so it will go on and spread open and hang out like this,” he added.

He says the key to a healthy crop is if it is left to dry out for a few days, so it can bloom and bleach naturally.

If they can’t meet the bottom line his whole operation could suffer.

“Those bills are going to keep coming in and I might not say well I can’t pay that right now cause I haven’t got the crop in, then it’s got to wait to be ginned, then I got to wait to sell it. A lot of this cotton I won’t get the money for until the first of the year. And that’s only if I can get it done,” he said.

Bosselman said this is also a trying time for his soybean crop. He hopes the weather dries up soon so his soybeans aren’t affected too.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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