Cotton-pickin' good year for Arkansas

(February 16, 2004) - (Jonesboro-AP) -- Arkansas cotton farmers produced a record crop last year, despite less-than-ideal growing conditions for part of the season. Steve Culp, the Craighead County agent for the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, said Arkansas last year averaged 914 pounds per acre on about 940 thousand. The previous record was 870 pounds per acre in 1994, when weather conditions were more suitable for cotton. Experts said the boll weevil eradication program, along with genetically engineered varieties that provide protection against certain pests and resistance to certain herbicides, may account for the high yield.