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My Turn: Living In The Delta

How important is it for Texas cotton production to make a comeback In 2012?

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Scott Fuchs
PhytoGen Cotton Seed, San Angelo, Texas

There is no doubt that 2011 was a historic year in Texas because of the lack of rainfall that we had. It is critical that we have a weather event and get some rain across the state – especially in the High Plains and Rolling Plains. In order to have a good crop, it is essential that we have some moisture. We need two- and three-inch rains where we don't lose a lot of runoff. I'm also encouraged that the La Niña weather pattern might be ending soon. That could mean normal rainfall for Texas.

Roger Zey
John Deere, Anthony, Iowa

After what we went through last year, it is extremely important from our company's viewpoint that Texas receive enough rainfall this year. West Texas is the backbone of the cotton industry for us. It's hard to believe we could have back-to-back recordbreaking droughts. Having said that, I am very encouraged by the attitudes of Texas cotton producers and ginners. They remain very positive.

Tom Owen
Monsanto/Deltapine, Lockhart, Texas

We need for Texas producers to make some good cotton in 2012. I don't want to sound repetitious, but, generally speaking, you have to say that we are in better shape this year than we were last year. The areas that I cover in south and central Texas have good moisture, and we're trying to finish up planting. We have had some rain, and that proves that it can rain again soon. I am very hopeful that the La Niña weather pattern will be breaking up – giving us more opportunities for rainfall in Texas. What we don't want this year is anything even resembling 2011 when the crop couldn't even get out of the ground.

Mark Williams
Producer, Farwell, Texas

Hopefully, we've put last year behind us. We've had two or three inches of rain in the last couple of weeks, and it's a completely different scenario for us right now. The cotton is coming up in beautiful fashion. From what I have heard, Texas is in much better shape as compared to last year. My farm was one of the last areas out here that received rain, so I was tickled to death to receive it. This gives us a lot of hope for the rest of the summer.

Clay Post
Diversified Subsurface Irrig., Lubbock, Texas

It's a critical situation for us. As long as we receive the necessary rainfall, Texas is setting up to recover from last year's drought. If we have another year like we did in 2011, I think we'll see exponential damage. Frankly, I don't think some people understand how important Texas is in the overall scheme of things for the U.S. cotton industry. There are segments of the industry that really depend on cotton production and will be damaged if we can't recover. I still believe the weather pattern will change, and I am hopeful that our farmers can get this crop started in the right way.

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