With the price of cotton at an all-time high, many U.S. producers are “getting back into cotton” – after having switched over to grains for a while – or increasing cotton acreage in their farming operations this year.
In theory, it sounds easy enough to do, but, in some instances, producers are facing logistical challenges, ranging from the current gin infrastructure to managing resistant weeds to weather and beyond. Several Web Poll participants cited the high costs of inputs and time management. However, de-spite these obstacles, one respondent notes, “We do what we have to do.”
The overall results of last month’s Web Poll are as follows: Machinery and labor tied for the No. 1 logistical challenge with 29 percent each, followed fairly closely by gin infrastructure at 17 percent. Eleven and fourteen percent of the respondents chose soil profile and other, respectively.
Following is a sampling of the comments that we received from Cotton Farming’s Web Poll respondents who wished to share their thoughts regarding how they voted:
• “Most problems can be worked out, but the fact that many gins have closed, and even dismantled, presents a big challenge in our area. We may have to gin part of the crop at another gin further away than we would like to, but we do what we have to do. We can’t expect ginners to expand and retool until we see how long this boom will last.”
• “I’ve never been out of cotton farming. I have cotton equipment and don’t want to invest in a combine and trucks again. My biggest challenge is the weed problem and the washed away fields in north Alabama after the recent weather events. We had eight inches of rain.”
• “I would not plant one acre of cotton if we couldn’t get Roundup Ready cotton seed.”
• “Time management and being able to find qualified, competent, dedicated additional employees are my biggest logistical challenges.”
• “We badly need rain here in west central Texas.”
• “In west south-central Kansas, we have subsoil moisture, but we need rain to plant. We have purchased additional machinery, but we can’t plant until we get enough rain to put the moisture together.”
• “My biggest challenge is high production costs for the inputs required to raise my cotton. The main contributing elements are multiple irrigations and the cost associated with them and multiple applications for insect control. Also, the lack of chemistry to control resistant weeds and the cost associated with what is available are challenging to me.”
• “The cost and timing of everything when you do it on a shoestring, while fighting unpredictable weather, is challenging. Also, the current state of weeds is terrible, and those darn plant bugs are getting harder to kill.”
• “My challenge is getting the darn stuff up. Seems like every year it gets harder and harder to get a stand.
You can only plant so much when you have to do it twice!”
In this month’s Web Poll, Cotton Farming is asking its readers to think about the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill. Just when you believe you’ve got one Farm Bill figured out, it’s time to write another one.
Our question is whether extending the 2012 Farm Bill for longer than its standard life span would be beneficial to cotton farmers.
Cast your vote and share your comments atwww.cottonfarming.com. The results of the June poll, along with reader remarks, will be reported in the July issue of Cotton Farming.
Web Poll Results
If you are “getting back into cotton” or increasing cotton acres, what is your greatest logistical challenge?
• Machinery – 29 %
• Labor – 29 %
• Gin infrastructure – 17 %
• Soil profile – 11 %
• Other – 14 %
June Web Poll Question
Would it be helpful to cotton farmers if the 2012 Farm Bill was in effect for longer than the five-year period that is the standard life span of a Farm Bill today? Please share your thoughts in the “Comments” section.
(3) It depends.
Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.
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