Someone Is Burning Missouri Cotton Crops

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(Dunklin Co., MO) Someone is burning cotton bales in Missouri. 

The cotton is being set on fire before it's even out of the fields. 

That's thousands of dollars worth of cotton gone. 

In Senath, Missouri, where two suspicious fires were set, a hefty reward is being offered to find who is responsible.

The fluffy cotton boll is Jason Chandler's livelihood, "We've ended up with a pretty good crop on what's irrigated. And we're just trying as hard as we can to get it out now."

Chandler farms 3300 acres of cotton in Senath, Missouri.

While he was rushing to get his crop harvested, someone decided to torch four huge rolls of the white stuff.

Chandler says he just can't understand why someone would destroy the cotton, "Being mean I guess, you know. Cause it's definitely something we worked very hard for this year, especially with the conditions and everything. They just don't understand."

Jason Chandler isn't the only cotton farmer sifting the ashes for answers.

A few miles away another farmer lost eight rolls of cotton, also in a suspicious fire.

Each of the rolls, called cotton wraps, weighs about 5,000 pounds and is worth upwards of $6,000 each.

The fire puts a dent in Chandler's profit margin, "I think my insurance pays a thousand dollars. And I think that's how most of them are. Which pretty much just covers your deductible."

These fires are causing so much concern, a $10,000 reward is being offered for information on who started them.

Don Wallace is Manager of Crop Production Services in Senath, "And it would just be like going and tearing up someone's paycheck at the end of the week."

Wallace hasn't lost any cotton, but some of his best customers have.
And that's why he decided to contribute to the reward, "People are nervous about it. And we'd like to see it it stopped. And we'd like to see whoever did it prosecuted."

If you can help find who's responsible, call Senath Police or the Dunklin County Sheriff's office.