The word “optimism” is tossed around a lot these days when the conversation is about U.S. cotton’s prospects for the 2010 season. However, nowhere is it more obvious than in Texas, the largest cotton production state in the country.
Attractive prices are one reason for the attitude across the state. But other factors are contributing to how producers and ginners are approaching the new season. Rainfall in both the southern and northern parts of the state is helping soil moisture levels
All of this is contributing to a favorable environment for the Texas Cotton Ginners Association as it prepares for its annual meeting and trade show in Lubbock, April 8-9, at the Civic Center.
“I think the future looks good for Texas cotton,” says Tony Williams, TCGA’s executive vice president. “We’re seeing some positive signs in every region of the state, and there just seems to be a much stronger interest in cotton everywhere, and that is very encouraging.”
Impact Of Grain Prices
Williams believes there will be cotton acreage gains in most areas of the state, but he says much will depend on where grain prices are this spring. If those prices remain at current levels, he predicts that cotton acres will definitely increase.
Regardless of what the price environment is in Texas this year, Williams and other industry leaders believe that acreage stability will occur – mainly because cotton has such a history in the state.
In central and south Texas, he says it’s more important to have an effective rotation program in place, and that’s where cotton becomes a crucial part of the equation.
Because many producers in those regions jumped into grain production in a big way during the last few years, it is expected that acres will move back into cotton.
“Overall, I look for cotton acres to increase in the state, but maybe not as much as in other areas of the Belt,” says Williams. “I definitely think we’ll have more acres along the coast.”
As for the current situation with gins in Texas, Williams senses a positive mood that is directly connected to better prices and the potential acreage increase. He is particularly encouraged about south Texas where soil moisture levels are good at the moment.
“That part of the state was hit hard last year,” he says. “Given what they’ve experienced, anything will be an improvement.”
Contact Tommy Horton at (901) 767-4020 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the TCGA annual meeting, contact its office at (512) 476-8388 or go to www.tcga.org.
Positive Outlook In 2010
Given the upbeat feeling among producers and ginners in Texas, TCGA executive vice president Tony Williams is anticipating another good turnout at the organization’s annual meeting and trade show in April.
One noticeable change for the meeting will be the Overton Hotel as the headquarters hotel. The new facility is located near the Texas Tech campus adjacent to Jones AT&T Stadium. However, it is only a five-minute drive from the hotel to the Civic Center.
The Holiday Inn-Civic Center, which previously was the headquarters hotel, will continue to be used by TCGA attendees, according to Williams.
This will mark the 22nd consecutive TCGA meeting that Williams has been a part of since he became executive vice president in 1988. He has seen a lot of changes in the Texas cotton industry during that time period.
“As an industry, we have bigger gins that are automated, and we know how to adapt,” says Williams. “This creates challenges for us, but it also means more opportunities. That’s why I am so optimistic.”