Cotton farmers struggle to meet planting deadline after heavy rains

Published: May. 28, 2015 at 2:42 AM CDT|Updated: May. 19, 2016 at 2:26 PM CDT
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Edwards' grandson
Edwards' grandson

LITTLEFIELD, TX (KCBD) - While rain across the South Plains has left many area farmers smiling after years of fighting drought conditions, the constant moisture has also brought some added stress recently.

The upland cotton final planting dates are approaching fast, and for Parmer, Castro, Swisher, Bailey and Lamb counties, the deadline to receive full crop insurance is this weekend.

Larry Edwards is one of the farmers in Littlefield who hopes to finish planting his cotton crop by Thursday.

"My dad and granddad had bad hearts," Edwards said, "so I took over the farm in 1968."

He calls his 4,500 acres a "family treasure."

"My grandson is six years old, and he's the sixth generation," he said. "He's going to take my place."

As he prepped his fields to plant on Wednesday, Edwards said he felt blessed because this is the most amount of rain he's seen in his fields since 1962, a total of nine inches just this year.

"The drought was horrendous and it put a lot of people in hard ways," Edwards said, "and there's not a soul that lives here anymore, and there used to be eight families within a mile each way."

While too much rain is not possible to Edwards, the mud has complicated meeting his planter's deadline on Sunday. The sun came out just enough this week to dry away these worries away.

"It's a double-edged sword," he said. "You've got to have rules and you've got to have regulations, and it slowed us down a little."

However, he expects all farmers to meet the deadline.

"I think we'll wrap it up tomorrow," Edwards said. "We're through with everything but the cotton, and we're just about through with the cotton."

No matter what the sky brings tomorrow, Edwards said their cotton, corn and wheat will grow along with their family.

"It's going to be a fabulous year," he said. "God has blessed us with good rain, and we just put it in God's hands and know He knows what's best."

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