Rain puts dampener on cotton

THE recent wet weather has made life slightly harder for Griffith cotton growers, but Kieran O'Keeffe insists there is no reason to panic.

"It's a slow process at the moment," the regional development officer for Cottoninfo said.

"We need the cotton to stay dry so it can get picked."

Cotton farmers generally need moisture levels at about 12 per cent for harvesting, but this year's above-average rainfall 78.6 millimetres higher than this time last year is making the process difficult.

"The crop hasn't deteriorated yet, you always get a rain event then you want some sunny and windy weather so the crop can bleach out," he said.

Mr O'Keeffe said most Griffith farmers would still be relatively happy with the quality of this year's crop.

The harvest usually starts in April and can go to June.

President of the Cotton Growers Association Scott Hogan said growers didn't have too much to worry about for this season and said everything was going fine as far as he was concerned.

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) said the state's cotton crop planted had decreased this season by about 30,000 hectares.

This season's average yield is expected to be 2 per cent higher due to irrigated cropping.

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