Pucheu and Fanucchi said yields are coming in below their averages, but they are happy to efficiently gather what they can at this stage of the 2010 season.

“Yields are off some, but strong Pima prices will help offset that,” Fanucchi said.

“We will second pick some of the Pima. The market warrants it,” said Pucheu.

It looks like SJV growers have dodged a machine gun full of bullets. Demand has never been greater for cotton, especially Pima. There is no carryover and mills are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first 2010 Pima bales. Had the weather turned nasty jeopardizing quality, it could have wrecked the Pima market.

Schroeder said if the warm weather holds, the 307,000 acre crop should be mostly out of the field by Nov. 15, well ahead of Thanksgiving.

Two months ago many California growers thought they’d be picking cotton rather than eating turkey on Nov. 25 because the season was so late. Now it looks like they will have their drumstick and eat it too.

hcline@farmpress.com