ANXIOUS cotton producers continue to wait to be able to get on paddocks to finish picking their crops with the risk adverse weather could damage both yield and quality.
Cotton Australia general manager Michael Murray said his organisation believed the forecast for a record national crop was still on target but said growers needed a prolonged period of dry weather to get harvest back on track after record breaking autumn rain in many regions.
"The rain has been followed by misty, overcast weather, what we would really like to see is some sun and wind to dry things out," Mr Murray said.
He said many growers were still waiting to get back on waterlogged paddocks, however he added not all regions experienced last week's heavy rain.
"There were some patches that did not get quite so much rain so hopefully they are able to get out there a little earlier, but the extent of any damage is very much yet to be determined."
"We'll only really get a true idea once the pickers return to the field."
Another boost was one of the regions that received heavy rainfall, around Dirranbandi and St George in south-west Queensland, was also one that was relatively well progressed in terms of harvest.
Mr Murray said the harvest was only just gearing up on the Darling Downs, while further west the majority of the crop was off.
Through the Border Rivers he estimated picking was around halfway completed, while harvest has started as far south as the Riverina although Mr Murray said NSW, especially west of the Great Dividing Range, had also experienced the same heavy rainfall as Queensland and that harvest was also delayed there.
He said the problem was compounded by a shortage of available equipment to pick the crop.
"Contractors have been delayed and that means they are not getting to the next job so it is putting a real squeeze on, a change in the weather to allow us to really get moving is the only thing that will change that."