Cotton farmers expecting a bumper crop following rainy summer

The excessive amount of rainfall this year has not only brought most of West Texas out of a drought, it's also making an impact on local agriculture.
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 11:10 AM CDT
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GLASSCOCK COUNTY, Texas (KOSA) - The excessive amount of rainfall this year has not only brought most of West Texas out of a drought, it’s also making an impact on local agriculture.

“Here in Glasscock County we’ve seen above-average amounts of rainfall and that has definitely helped out the cotton across the community,” said Vance Smith.

Smith is a local cotton farmer with thousands of acres covering four counties. With all of the rain this year, he’s confident this season’s bottom lime will end up in the black.

Last year he didn’t have a single harvested acre.

“We will have a return and the dry years we’re spending it and it’s never coming back,” said Smith.

Smith says this is the most rain that his crops have seen in over a decade, and he’s now expecting what farmers call a bumper crop.

“Dry land crops are looking very good this year. The rains have been very beneficial and timely and as they continue to come then we ought to have a really good year,” Smith said.

For every yin, there’s a yang, and farming is no exception. The rain that brings big crops can also bring big problems.

“There is more insects and there’s more weeds and there’s all sorts of there challenges that come with it that we have to deal with but that’s ok. If it’s raining at least we have something out there we’re working for,” said Smith.

Because the input costs are so expensive this year, Brad Easterling, the Glasscock County Extension Agent of Texas A&M Agrilife, is hoping the grade of cotton is better than it was in the past.

“The last 4 years have been basically terrible crops with a couple of them having zero dry land and maybe a third of what we would generally yield in irrigated acres,” said Easterling.

In the past, cotton has sold for as low as $.50 per round, but this year Smith says the future prices are looking to ‘exceptionally’ exceed that amount.

“Right now, you know, we’re looking, we’re hoping for 90 cents maybe more than that.”

If the predicted value is correct, the economy is also expected to blossom.

“So the impacts of them making a big crop, a bumper crop, is tremendous throughout the entire region.”

Though the rainfall has been great news for the cotton industry, they’re hoping it will dry out by mid-September, just in time for the harvest season.

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