Do you think cotton prices can continue to show momentum going into the 2011 production season?
I have been farming since 1976, and I’ve never seen anything like this as far as what the price is doing. The highest price I’ve ever been able to take advantage of in my career was in the mid to upper 80-cent range. We’ve always tried to increase yields through the years to make up for the high input costs. I have already booked some cotton for next year, and I am excited at the prospect of being able to take advantage of these prices.
In retrospect, the 2010 season was good because the prices did go up, but I’d say 80 percent of the producers probably weren’t able to take advantage of that price. I know that in West Texas we will be growing cotton, and it looks like we have a chance to be in the 80-cent to one dollar range in 2011. We’re more worried about dry conditions right now, and how that affects the new crop season. We need rain.
PhytoGen Cotton Seed
I do feel good about 2011, and if I were in a producer’s shoes right now, I would do what I could to take advantage of this price environment. I would certainly want to capture at least 90 cents or better with my cotton. And I would even look strongly at 85 cents. We, as an industry, are in pretty good shape for 2011, but I think we ought to have a longer view than that. I just think we need some kind of protection going beyond 2011. I know producers who regret that they booked 75-cent cotton last year, and now the price is over a dollar. That’s why I think producers shouldn’t wait around too long. They can’t procrastinate.
These are great prices, but you have to remember that 90 to 95 percent of the 2010 crop was already sold before this price surge occurred. However, there is no doubt that everybody has a great attitude going into 2011. Everyone is invigorated about cotton, but the grain prices are still high, and you have to wonder where the additional cotton acres are going to come from. I do know that we have to take advantage of these prices. We don’t need to get too greedy. A dollar looks pretty good to me, and I’d even take 80 cents.
I am excited about what is happening for cotton right now. Cotton employs a lot of people and has a serious economic impact on rural communities across the country. Frankly, I’ve never seen anything like this when you have all commodities enjoying high prices. It’s a challenge for farmers to decide what to grow. We do have to be cognizant about input costs, and that will certainly influence where farmers can make the most money.
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