Cotton reaches record high, area farmers cashing in - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Cotton reaches record high, area farmers cashing in

By Christie Post - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Cotton prices hit another 15 year high at $1.20 a pound Friday. But shortly after that, the market went down closing at $1.10.

Plains Cotton Growers Incorporated says earlier Friday morning about 100 bales traded at $1.18.

They say although the price closed lower than that today, they expect it to go back up later next week.

This comes at the best possible time since the South Plains is on schedule for a record-breaking bumper crop. Some farmers are saying this is the best crop they've ever had. We talked with one farmer who has an estimated bull count of five bales per acre.

"Most people are happy with three bales, you shoot for four and when you make five you're really happy. So this is really a tremendous crop for us," says Bayer Crop Science Regional Cotton Agronomist, Daniel Olivier.

Jeff Harrell has 800 acres of irrigated cotton in Hale County. He's ahead of schedule, stripping cotton three to four weeks in advance. And cashing in on a bumper crop estimating five bales per acres.

"A bale is 480 to 500 pounds of ginned and cotton without the seed in it," says cotton farmer, Jeff Harrell.

He says this is the best crop he's ever had and the key to his success, good September weather, 20" rows, and planting different varieties of cotton.

"The varieties and the weather. We're we just blessed with rain at the right times," says Harrell.

 Now it's up to the gins to determine how good Jeff's crop is.

"It takes three to five days to get your grades back. They classify the cotton as far as color, staple and strength," says Harrell.

"There's a lot of people that farm their whole life to make a bumper yield like we have this year plus the price where it is. Some people will never get there. Most people are in good shape with bumper crops, high yields and the price is just unbelievable," says Olivier.

With the price of cotton continuously growing Jeff is locked in a marketing pool while others locked into prices at 75 cents a pound earlier this year.

"I heard of some cotton that sold for 1.18 earlier this morning so it's just unbelievably high," says Harrell.

New technologies will continue to upgrade the cotton crop every year and with the current prices cotton is expected to bring an impact of billions of dollars to the greater Lubbock economy.

"We've got great products on the market and we're still working on new technologies and Bayer will be launching the glycol technology next year," says Olivier.

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