SACRAMENTO -- This summer's high temperatures along with low insect pressure are allowing California's cotton crop to flourish, according to a government report.
The crop condition is rated 90 percent good to excellent, as over half of it was setting bolls by the end of last week, reports the National Agricultural Statistics Service office here.
Local officials have reported some shed has occurred, but there was generally good fruit retention during the high heat spell earlier this month, according to NASS.
Cotton fields have mostly avoided serious problems from pests, in part because of the dry weather, the California Farm Bureau Federation noted.
California farmers expected to plant 90,000 acres of Upland cotton this year, down from 142,000 acres last year, according to the USDA's Prospective Plantings Report. Growers were expecting to seed 190,000 acres for American Pine cotton this year, down from 225,000 acres in 2012, the USDA reported.