Farmers: This year’s cotton harvest is the worst in more than a decade

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 5:58 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2022 at 7:02 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - After a hot and dry summer, West Texas farmers are seeing what is left. While producers expect dry and hot weather, Jeremy Brown, a Dawson County cotton producer, says he has not seen it this dry in quite some time.

“You know, 2011 was probably, in my recent memory, this bad,” Brown said.

This year’s drought has affected both dryland cotton and irrigated cotton. Cotton is the livelihood for many West Texas growers.

Shawn Holladay, the Vice Chair for the National Cotton Council, says they are not the only ones who will feel the impact.

“Especially in West Texas with this drought we’ve got going on the impact it is going to have is great. Cotton gins are the ones who feel it the worst I think because they have basically nothing to do this year,” says Holladay.

Cotton warehouses on the North side of Lubbock and cotton complexes in East Lubbock are just a few of the businesses that will be impacted.

Shawn Holladay says, “You’ve got to have cotton for all of those things, all for that engine to run. So it is going to be a huge economic impact from an infrastructure standpoint.”

Holladay says the most concerning part for the farmers is the dry winter that typically follows a dry summer.

“The longer it stays dry the more impact it typically has on next year’s crop,” said Holladay.

The next step for the farmers is getting crops ready to bear the winter.

Jeremy Brown says, “We’ve been spending the last really 30 days trying to get a cover crop established, you know, to help with erosion. And hopefully we will have enough moisture to sustain that through the winter.”