Drought now affecting cotton farmers who use irrigation - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Drought now affecting cotton farmers who use irrigation


Most farmers agree that turning a good crop is all about luck. However, the luck has run dry for many farmers on the South Plains who raise cotton. The severe drought is even causing problems for farmers to use irrigation.

Lamb County farmer Ricky Yantis has raised cotton his whole life. He says this year's drought is one of the worst he has ever seen.

"I've already spent a lot more this year than I did all of last year in 2010 and I have less to show for it," said Yantis.

Yantis relies on irrigation to help his crops grow. However, he says the drought has forced most farmers to use more water than normal from water wells. The heavy use is causing water wells to run dry.

"They've gone down a lot this year. With the extreme heat and drought and not having any subsoil moisture, it's been hard. We can't stay up," Yantis said.

The Co-op Gin in Amherst produced more than 43,000 bales of cotton last year. However, this year, General Manager Guyle Roberson says they'll be lucky to get 16,000 bales.

"This year has just been one of those years. If you're a producer or related into the ag business, that you just do not look forward to," Roberson said.

Yantis says the drought has forced him to cut back on acreage and divert water on fewer acres to maintain his crops. However, while times seem tough, Yantis says he knows he'll get through.

"Most all of us have a real strong faith in God and know everything we get is a blessing from God and we do the best we can," Yantis said.

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