Cotton Growers Will See One Third Crop Less Than Last Year - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/9/08

Cotton Growers Will See One Third Crop Less Than Last Year

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Sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad, with all the recent rains and severe weather, this year's cotton crop has suffered.

Experts predict there will be a third less cotton produced this year, compared to last year.

"Last year was a very good year for cotton production," said Plains Cotton Growers Executive Vice President Steve Verett. 

But that's not the case this year.  Verett says so far this year one million acres of cotton have been lost due to drought, wind, and hail. 

"We produced about 5.3 million bales in this area last year and you know with normal yields and normal weather here on out, we might able to produce something around two and a half or three million bales and that would be a stretch I think," said Verett. 

Cotton farmers are working very hard to try to salvage this year's crops.

"They are going to try to do everything they can to nurture this crop along but you with today's input costs you have to make sure every dollar you are spending will hopefully return something and that's a difficult proposition," said Verett.

Verett says though the cost of virtually everything is going up, unfortunately the cotton price isn't.  

"All costs are up and cotton prices have not seen the rise in prices we've seen in some of the other commodities to help offset some of those costs so it's real catch 22 for cotton farmers right now," said Verett.

For farmers who have lost crops some are planting other crops behind the failed cotton.  Verett says some of the alternative crops range from grain, sunflowers and hay and could help replace the lost cotton income. 

"There is an opportunity that with the right amount of help from mother nature and a little rainfall the rest of the year that they could have a secondary crop," said Verett. 

The Plains Cotton Growers say they are remaining optimistic but all they are hoping for now is normal weather temperatures and timely rainfall.

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