The worst drought in a century may lead Texas cotton growers to abandon a record number of acres full of damaged plants, according to reports by Bloomberg online news. Approximately 55 percent of Texas cotton fields were in poor or very poor condition as of June 26, following “exceptional” drought in the Panhandle and South Plains regions. Abandonment of non-irrigated fields in the High Plains region, usually responsible for two-thirds of the state’s cotton, may reach 50 percent. If the Atlantic hurricane season brings storms soon, “Maybe some rain now can save parts of the irrigated areas,” says Craig Heinrich, a Lubbock farmer who has already abandoned half of his 2,400-acre cotton crop because of drought and high winds. Gap, the largest apparel chain in the U.S., cut its full-year profit forecast by 22 percent in May, citing higher costs, while Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. posted a 36-percent decline in net income in the first quarter of 2011. For up-to-date information about the 2011 cotton crop, visit the National Cotton Council of America website.