Monday's rain good news for cotton farmers and for local economy - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/16/10

Monday's rain good news for cotton farmers and for local economy

By Katie Bauer - bio| email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -    For the cotton industry, Monday's rain is good news. There are at least six more weeks before cotton farmers will start planting their crop. The rain totals is a good indicator that crops will be booming this year, not only for farmers, but for the South Plains economy as well.

Some areas of the South Plains received up to two inches of rain. Cotton farmers see this as a blessing. Experts say that if you live in West Texas, that it is a blessing for you, too.

"It's just a win/win in all situations. From all indications we are going to plant more cotton than we planted last year," says Steve Verett, Vice President of Plains Cotton Growers.

Verett says the rain makes a farmer's work much easier if there is moisture in the soil. Plus, he says farmers who use irrigation systems would normally use their wells this time of year, if there was no rain.

"There's a savings on that side of money not having to be spent energy costs, plus less demand on our aquifer as well," says Verett.

Verett also says that there is a lot of good things about a cold, wet winter.

"One is the freezing action in the soil when the soil freezes and has moisture in it, it's almost like plowing, it loosens up the soil, breaks up, makes the soil loose, and just nice to plant a crop in."

He says as long as Mother Nature continues to cooperate, our local economy will reap the benefits.

"We hope that we will be talking in October about what a bountiful crop this moisture has brought from everything that we had."

Last year, 3.2 million acres of cotton were planted. This year, Verett predicts the number to jump to 3.5 million acres. 

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