Cotton wrecked

Published: Friday 15 May 1998

the El Nio weather pattern is posing serious threats to cotton crops in the us this year, according to industry analysts. El Nio is a periodic warming of the Pacific Ocean that has caused drought in Indonesia and flood in south America. Researchers fear that it may also lead to severe boll weevil problems in the major cotton producing state of Texas.

El Nio rains in California and Arizona have severely delayed plantings on farms whose cotton yields are among the highest in the us . Analysts feel that El Nio could trigger a dry spell over the us delta cotton producing region later this season.

"The threat of a heavy infestation is very strong at this time. We have only made marginal headway in our boll weevil eradication programme," says Carl Anderson, cotton specialist at Texas A & M University. Traders say that the High Plains region of the state have not even had a referendum to enact an eradication programme.

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