Cotton crop could become largest in U.S. in 11 years

Posted at 11:35 AM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:31:00-04

The Texas Farm Bureau estimates the cotton crop in the U.S. could be the largest in 11 years, citing a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Texas Farm Bureau Director, Commodity & Regulatory Activities, Government Affairs Gene Richardson said low prices in commodities enticing more American farmers to plant more cotton this year.

"When you have to look at corn and sorghum and any of the specialty crops that come and go in the marketplace. Cotton was the best bet to break even or make a little money," Richardson said.

Richardson said the U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting 6.4 million acres of cotton will be planted in Texas this year, which is 1 million higher compared to last year.

Kevin Huffman who farms near McGregor decided to plant 450 acres of cotton this year instead of corn because of economic reasons.

"This year, we chose to grow cotton over the corn crop because of the price and last fall, we were able to contract some cotton, which we thought it was more profitable than growing corn," Huffman said.

His crop along with others nationwide could become the largest in the country in 11 years. However, Richardson said that would depend on weather conditions.

 "A lot of things can happen if it quits raining and maybe some of the cotton is late this year, the farther north you go. They may not produce as much as they thought they might," Richardson said.

Huffman said is hopeful he will be able to get all of his crop but he understands there is a risk.

"Harvest can be a problem if it starts raining or something like that. It's a little bit more risky on the harvest end than corn is," Huffman said.

He still has to decide whether the will plant cotton again next year.

The Texas Farm Bureau estimates corn acreage to be down 500,000 this year and sorghum to be down about 100,000 acres in Texas.

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