AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Cotton harvest just began in the High Plains, but the weather has had an impact on cotton and how much will be produced this year. Kody Bessent, Plains Cotton Growers CEO, said the summer is an important season because this is when most crops will begin harvest.

“Weather was a huge detrimental impact of this year cotton crop throughout most of the 42 county regions that we serve. Larger we didn’t have any soil or moisture going in the planting season back in early May. Had a very little if any rainfall throughout the grown season. We also had very hot tempertures throughout the month of July that had a large impact on the crop,” Bessent said.

Although weather affected the crops, harvest cotton will still be running on time. The Gin and processors will be pushed behind schedule and Bessent said this is because this year the gins will see a lower amount of cotton to process.

“We will probably see the shortest crop year that we have seen historical. Typically, in this entire area we’ll produce anywhere from 3.5 to 4.5 million bales. This year we will be hard pressed to produce up to a million bales so certainly having a huge impact from a production base standpoint. Just due to the weather-related advance we have seen throughout the vast majority of the growing season,” Bessent added.

Bessent said this is not only a problem for cotton companies but also for everyone in the Panhandle.

“It impacts everybody from a rural based economy to a suburban base like in Amarillo. So, producers by themselves have some risk management tools that can offset some of the lost that may be experienced during this growing season. The local impact will be like in the gin sector for example,” Bessent added.

Steven Birkenfeld, manager of top of Texas Gin added how the Gins around the Panhandle are affected.

“It’s leading to less economy activity in our area as a whole. This area is so dependent on agriculture far as the economy goes and so it’s leading to less income for a lot of these producers. It’s leading to less income for businesses like cotton gin and green elevators,” Birkenfeld said.