Cotton Season Begins in Tunica

 Cotton Season Begins in Tunica

Ski Mississippi Tunica Hollywood CafeIt’s finally spring and for those of us in the Delta that means it’s planting season! Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve heard crop dusters flying over our building to fertilize the land, as well as, seen the tractors getting out to till the land. In the Mississippi Delta, farmers will plant crops including soybeans, corn, rice, wheat, peanuts and the most asked about crop by our visitors, cotton.

Cotton is definitely one of the most picturesque of the crops in the Delta, so it’s no wonder that visitors love it! Even when it’s not in season you can take a little home with you by visiting the Gateway to the Blues Museum Gift Shop. The Mississippi Delta might not get much real snow, but we definitely have our own kind of white that blankets the ground.

Cotton is typically planted in late-April with the flower blooming in mid-June and with harvesting in late-September and October. So the best time to see the cotton boll open is usually in September.

Here’s a visual of the stages of a cotton plant:

Cotton Stages

Here are some fun facts about cotton that will spark your interest and get you planning your next trip to Tunica to see it for yourself.

  1. Cotton is the fourth largest agricultural crop in the state of Mississippi making $404 million in 2014.*
  2. Tunica County is one of the top producing counties of cotton, along with Coahoma, Holmes and Yazoo.*
  3. The Mississippi Delta topsoil is estimated to be 28 feet deep because of the settling sediment from the northern Mississippi River Valley. There’s an awesome exhibit at the Tunica RiverPark & Museum that shows the Delta’s topsoil in comparison to other states and it will amaze you!

*Source:  Mississippi State University, Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation

Tunica Cotton Bolls

Tunica Cotton Picking BalesA few years ago, I was able to experience the cotton harvest myself and ride a cotton picker. Click here to learn more about cotton and the harvest in my previous blog.

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