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AbstractWeather again presented significant challenges to Arizona cotton producers in 1996. Warm early season weather allowed most growers to plant earlier than normal and the 1996 crop moved through the first half of the season in excellent shape. The arrival of high monsoon humidity in early July combined with high July temperatures to create heat stress conditions which led to fruit shed at most central and western production areas. The stressful combination of humidity and temperature remained entrenched through much of July and August, creating generally poor fruiting conditions in both months. Monsoon activity continued through mid-September in many areas, then was followed by a month of generally good weather conditions for finishing the crop. Cool weather effectively ended the growing season after mid-October. The overall warm year produced seasonal heat unit accumulation well in excess of normal. Precipitation was generally well below normal, especially along the Colorado River.