Heavy Rains Help Area Cotton Farmers - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/7/08

Heavy Rains Help Area Cotton Farmers

Hockley County is drying out from a recent downpour. Just before lunch time on Wednesday NewsChannel 11 caught another storm. In a matter of ten minutes, hail the size of marbles fell just outside Ropesville. It's another dose of moisture that comes as planting of this year's cotton crop is about to get underway on the South Plains. 

"This rain is a Godsend. A true blessing for farmers," cotton farmer and Buster's Gin Co-Owner Linda Taylor said.

For 35 planting seasons, Taylor has watched the sky, first as a cotton producer then a co-owner of Buster's Gin outside of Ropesville.

"Generally there's a saying among farmers in West Texas, you can't refuse a rain because you never know when we're going to receive them," Taylor said.

That is especially true when planting season is near. Taylor says cotton farmers start to look at seeding their fields in late April. However, most do not start putting seed in the ground until the first week of May.

"When you start depends on how many acres you have to get across and get the crop in timely," Taylor added.

Another concern is the amount of moisture in the ground, and if there's enough for cotton plants to grow properly an entire season. Taylor says, for some fields, that means even more rain than what has already fallen.

"So even though they may be able to plant, if the crop comes up and there's not moisture all the way down it will have a difficult time surviving," Taylor said.

The two things farmers always wish for from the sky are more sun and rain. Now, after nearly three days of dark skies, Taylor says she's watching once again, to see if the sun dries up all the rain.

"As soon as it dries, by the weekend or next Monday planters will be rolling in practically every field probably," Taylors added.

Taylor tells us if it stays dry, she hopes to start planting her fields next week.

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