(FAIRHOPE, Ala.) Agriculture experts are expecting a bountiful year for cotton farmers in north Alabama. Farmers there say the June heat and drought stressed out cotton plants but the weather has been ideal since the 4th of July. But that's not necessarily the case in Baldwin County.
Farmers are actually moving away from cotton and turning to peanuts and soy beans. It's at the Auburn Extension Center in Fairhope where the strongest, most resistant cotton seeds are put to the test, that's what they do, but it's the economy of supply and demand that really puts cotton to the test. "Potential looks pretty good. price wise its better than some years. Its still down from what it was one to two years ago," said Malcolm Pegues with the Auburn University Extension Center.
Loxley farmer Louis Lazzari chose peanuts, soybean and corn because of the market price.
"In this country the bad weather in the major producing areas its caused a shortage in the soybean and the corn and they both are at very high prices," said Lazzari.
Meantime Alabama is 10th in the nation in cotton production. The price today is roughly at 74 cents a pound. Two years ago cotton sold for nearly $2 a pound.
"What happens you have a good year price wise and people say well the price is going to be good so lets plant a lot of cotton. Then there's a lot of cotton in the market so the supply is high and that creates a downturn because there's so much in there, there's not enough demand to use it all up, so the price will fall, " said Pegues.
High cotton yields are expected across Alabama. Good news for farmers who planted cotton. Everyone wins here. Those who planted peanuts will do just as well.