Rain is good news for South Plains cotton farmers - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Rain is good news for South Plains cotton farmers

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - West Texas produces about quarter of our nation's cotton. Cotton farmers say Friday's rain will help get their fields ready for planting, but they could still use more.

Long hours and hard work are normal for Don Langston. He's been a cotton farmer in West Texas for more than 50 years, but thanks to Friday's rain, he gets to take a break. "We just kind of sit back and relax," he said. 

Even if cotton farmers can't do much work in the rain, their fields get plenty of care. "It puts very, very valuable moisture into the soil so that we're closer to being ready for planting a 2009 cotton crop in May and June of this year," said Roger Haldenby of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. 

However, Friday's rain still isn't enough. "We need at least four to six inches over the next two-months to get us in good shape to plant," said Langston. If the South Plains does not receive enough rain, Langston could lose as much as 80% of his crop, but as he enjoys his day off, the rain keeps his spirits up.  "It's so much better than a sandstorm. We've got some hope coming up, and we just hope it keeps on," he said. 

While the rain is good news for farmers, it came too late for ranchers. Texas agriculture officials report ranchers lost nearly a billion dollars because of the drought we've experienced. While they still welcome the rain, they've already spent money on extra feed for their livestock.

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