Cotton Pickin’ Time

It’s cotton picking time here in Tennessee, and I believe it may be a little later than normal this year, probably because of the drought we had earlier this summer.  I don’t know much about cotton except from my own personal observations after living here for 8 years.  Cotton is a major crop for Tennessee, but Tennessee is not a major cotton producing state.  Too mountainous for crops in most parts of the state.  There are scattered cotton fields around where I live, and I know when they start picking in the fall because my house fills up with these ladybug look-alikes.  They’re everywhere, they dive-bomb us when we ride our horses and they will bite.  I get piles of them around my windows in the house and when I vacuum them up they stink.  A guy who works in pest control once told me they were introduced in the fields years ago as predators to the boll weevil.  The roadsides have cotton strewn all along them from cotton being hauled to a cotton gin, and if it wasn’t 70 degrees outside you’d swear it was snow.

The cotton fields look like a dusting of snow.  I’ve also learned since living here that cotton is one of the hardest crops on the soil as it takes so many nutrients out of it, and it’s also one of the most heavily sprayed crops.

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