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Harvest at slow pace; producers look for change in weather

HARVEST TIME – Levelland grower Preston Turner strips a field of drip irrigated cotton Thursday afternoon on Black Gold Road. Turner and other men began harvesting the field on Thursday. He planted the cotton on May 12. Harvesting operations are beginning to pick up in speed as the fall advances and weather conditions cool down. (Staff Photo)

The 2014 cotton harvest is under way but it could be another week or two before growers reach full speed.

As of Friday morning, five  gins in Hockley County had produced 7,387 bales of cotton.

Ropes Farmers Co-op Gin, which ginned the first bales of the season, had 2,630 bales to its credit.

However, the gin could run out of modules for the weekend, said manager Brian Lehrmann.

‘We’re still running, but I’ll run out of cotton this afternoon,’ Lehrmann said.

Growers in the Ropesville area have been spraying defoliants, but some of them are having a tough time killing all of the vegetation.

‘It’s slow killing this stuff,’ he said.  ‘I think some of it has to do with regrowth.’

Cotton grades are ‘all over the place,’ said Johnny Shepard, manager of Citizens-Shallowater Co-op Gin.

‘The micronaire and the leaf are looking really good on everything,’ Shepard said.

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