Cotton Farmers Hurry To Finish Planting Before Insurance Deadline - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/5/07

Cotton Farmers Hurry To Finish Planting Before Insurance Deadline

Cotton farmers on the South Plains are working to get seed planted before night fall. For many farmers, their crops must be planted by Tuesday in order to get full insurance coverage should they need it.

A year ago fields on the South Plains were dry, just waiting for rain. But after record moisture this planting season, Lubbock County Cotton farmer Jimmy Smith, is now wishing for a control switch.

"We've had enough rain to make three crops, if we could just turn it on and off to suit ourselves," says Smith.

Mother Nature is making it difficult for Smith to get his cotton seed in the ground before the planting window closes.

"A lot of money in that box real careful with those boxes," Smith adds, as he looks at a bag of cotton seed.

If seeds aren't in the ground by midnight June 5th, some farmers will lose part of their insurance coverage.

"What they're saying is by June 5th they think it will affect the yield, therefore it could be a claim," says Smith.

 But on deadline day the tractors are at a standstill, as Smith waits for the soaked fields to dry out.

"We just sit here till it gets dry enough. We got sand fighters running to the West and trying to dry it out back to the East," says Smith.

Planting since the second week of May, Smith says some of the seed is in the ground. But after with almost a week of rain at least 200 are now in question.

"We're trying to get in the fields. At this point not really worried about the end product, we just need it in place," adds Smith.

If seeds aren't in the ground by Tuesday night, it's not a total loss, merely 100% insurance coverage can't be claimed and coverage drops from here on out. Tuesday's deadline affects 8 counties here on the South Plains and another one is coming up Sunday.

Look Up the Latest Rain Totals for the South Plains
Look up daily National Weather Service recorded rain totals for each county on the South Plains.

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