By Bill Robertson, Extension Cotton Agronomist
Nothing was easy in 2018. The National Weather Service reported that precipitation from August 1 to October 31 was more than double the normal amounts for locations including Jonesboro, Little Rock, and Pine Bluff. Harvest was significantly delayed as a result. The wet conditions have continued to carry over into the spring.
Timely stalk destruction is generally not an issue for most producers. April 15 is the deadline for destroying cotton stalks. It is important that the stalks be destroyed (even if you do not plan to grow cotton in 2019). The Plant Board may hire the stalks destroyed and if this is done a lien will be enforced for the costs involved, as authorized.
At the beginning of the 2019 ginning season, the Plant Board will list all owners, operators and tenants who have failed to meet the stalk destruction requirements except for reasons of extreme hardship and will send this list to all ginners in the state. Ginners are prohibited from ginning cotton for anyone on this list unless a written release is secured from the Plant Board or the APHIS-USDA office.
It is possible for an extension to be granted for reasons of extreme hardship. If your failure to comply was due to extreme hardship, you should contact the Plant Board and ask for the form PB4 and fill out the Statement of Extreme Hardship to begin the process of consideration for an extension.