Guess which fruit drives Plainview agriculture

Guess which fruit drives Plainview agriculture
Updated: Jul. 16, 2018 at 2:16 PM CDT
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PLAINVIEW, TX (KCBD) - Agriculture is a big economic driver here on the South Plains.

When people think of West Texas crops, they think of cotton, peanuts, and grapes. But in Plainview, cucumbers are the big deal and they're sold all over the country.

"A lot of people don't think about cucumbers growing in West Texas," Stephen Goetz, Crop Production Manager, said. "We hear it all the time."

Cucumbers are a hidden gem in West Texas and Plainview is the ideal place to grow them.

"We have a dry climate, we don't have a whole lot of disease pressure, and we have cool nights," Goetz said. "Cool nights are great for vegetables because it gives them a chance to cool off and rest in the evening."

This little-known West Texas crop is also responsible for 60 percent of Best Maid's pickles.

"Best Maid's had a long-standing relationship with the growers here in West Texas and they're always happy," Goetz said. "Some of the best growers in Texas are out here."

Producers say cucumbers take just 45 days to grow and Plainview makes around 3,000 acres of them every year. From football-sized pickles to smaller ones used in relish, Plainview is responsible for most of them.

You might be surprised to hear that bees are a critical part of the growing process.

"We pollinate our crop with bees," he said. "So we use a hive an acre...since proper pollination is essential to getting a high-quality fruit."

"We really appreciate all the local support. We've enjoyed doing business here for over 40 years, and look forward to the next 40 years," Goetz said.