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The Cotton Crop

The Cotton Crop image
Parent Issue
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An attaeho of The Times has spent the past two or three days investigtiting the oondition and prospeets of the ootton erop in ihe regions tributury to New ürleans. Ncarly all of the leading factories, and in some inataucos well-known planters juat arrivod trom their plantittioiiB, have been interviewed, their correspondeueo consulted and their views obtained. Naturally we have folt great anxiety not tofall into any extreme or ultra ideas on this subject. With equal eare have we sought not to adopt couclusious without tostimony derived from the rnost reliablo sourcos. Manifestly it would be tho extreme of folly to attempt at this timo au estimato of how niuc'i cotton will or will not be produced. To do so would justly impoverish our claim to consideration in whnt we propose now to say on this delicate and important question. Much of tho cotton lands have only just been planted, much is now only beiug planted, or rather replauted as the ovorrlow waters subside. The season is late, and it is inipossible in the very nature of the case that anybody should be able to even forin an opinión what yield to expect from the replantiug. As absolute coucurrence of favorable conditious uiight result in crops excellent and abundant. But late plantings are more liable to uni'avorable circumstances than early ones. Drouth is more trying to young and tender planta than to those which have acquired substance and strength ; they are also more liable to destruction from worms should that pest mako an early appearance. Obviously somo idea can bo lorrned, however, as to the probable amount of loss of erop by reason of tho nood or decline in acreage, since in either case thelosses are already partially ascertained. The decline in acreage is believed to bo about 10 per cent. It is well known that a general sentiment prevailed throughout the cottou belt, that it would be a wise policy on the part of the planters to reduce the are of cotton and increase the area of corn. In Georgia, it willbe remembered, the grange organization of the state strenuously urged the planters to reduce their cotton one-third, and eorrespondingly increase their corn. It is not likely the recommondation was followed to the extent named, but it is certain a reduction was made in favor of an increased production of corn. The sentiment in Georgia found zealous advocates in all the valley states, where cotton is raised, and not a doubt exists but that it operated on all planters niorö or less. It was favored by our factors, and it' any relianoe can bo placed ou the promises of the planters, then is our estimate of the decline in cotton acreage verified. In taking the opinión oí' leading merchants and factors as to the general erop of cotton in the country tributary to New Orleans, one of them expressed hiinself in substance thus : Of the crops generally, it Biay be said that they were retarded by the drouth ; in all the districts overflowed, where the water disappears in time, the planters will in way - " by hook or by crook" - manage to replant. In thu highlands of Louisiana the planters have been stimulated, in a few instances, by tho supposed loss of crops in the lowlauds to increase the cotton acreage over and beyond that contemplated at the beginning of the planting season. This is true, more parEicularly of the highlands in Mississippi, where the grangers, instead of planting the amount of corn intended, have fallen back upon something like tho plantings jf last year. He was, therefore, of the ipinion should the replant escape the ivorni, to which it will be particularly ubject on account of its tenderness, that ;he total product will not fall so far short is has been eenerally believed. Another gentleman oí' even greater importance, and, who stands at the head of factors in this city whose opinions are justly esteemed of great value because of his large experience and acknowledged ability, concurred in the views given above. From all sources of information we are led to believe that the loss in the erop of 1874, outside of the average decline of 10 per cont, in the acreage, will probably f all short of 200,000 bales, and may not exceed 150,000 bales. These conclusions are necessarily hypothetical, and assume the favorable contingences of the weather and absence of the cotton worm until such time as the replant cotton shall sufficiently mature to escape its ravages.


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Michigan Argus