Cotton Links


What kind of optimistic advice would you give cotton producers as they prepare for the 2009 crop season?


Steve Brown
PhytoGen Seed
Tifton, Ga.

We’ve seen repeatedly that our farmers know how to grow cotton in the South and Southeast even when there are stressful conditions. Hopefully, as we see grain prices fluctuate, we’ll see some positive upward trends in cotton prices. And when the world economy improves, I think we’ll see an increased demand for our U.S. goods and additional demand for U.S. cotton. That’s the message I’d like to give farmers as we get ready for this 2009 crop season.

Paul Hewitt
Bayer CropScience
Raleigh, N.C.

It’s definitely going to be a challenging year for the U.S. farmer. He has a lot of invested in his crop. For example, we know that seed costs are quite high, so I would think a seed treatment would be a good option. Once that seed goes into the ground, we know it’s in a hostile environment, and everything starts with the seed. I think a seed treatment is worth considering as we go into this crop year.

Dave Albers
Deltapine Seed
Memphis, Tenn.

If I had to give some optimistic advice to farmers, it would be that our company hopefully is offering some additional choices when it comes to seed varieties. And we’d also like to think that we can help him add pounds to those yields and improve quality on his cotton. We know that production costs are high, but if we can somehow help him realize a greater profit margin with our new varieties, we will have shown our commitment to the farmer. Our company has been a partner with the producer for many years, and we’re proud of our track record. We have a lot to look forward to in the future.

Fred Bourland
NE Research Center
Keiser, Ark.

I would simply tell producers to hang in there for another year, and then we might see some improvement in price, and that will benefit everybody in the industry. I’m not a marketing expert, but I think we could see some turnaround by 2010. The main thing is we need to protect our infrastructure. If we can do that, we have some real opportunities down the road. In the meantime, we should always keep cotton in the mix with other crops.

Paul Dugger
Case IH
Memphis, Tenn.

From pre-plant to post-harvest, there are tools out there that continue to be developed that allow a farmer to be more efficient, cut expenses and decrease labor costs. Those tools might be in marketing, equipment, fertilizer and other inputs. I would advise producers to look at anything they can to achieve these efficiencies. When Case started building module pickers, the buzz word was labor costs. Now it’s all about finding available labor to run the machines. I think producers understand how far we’ve come in a few years.

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