Q&A: Sid Brough
Always Looking Ahead

Sid Brough is a veteran Texas ginner who always looks on the bright side of things. So what if Texas has dealt with a drought for three years? He’s already encouraged by rains received in the Texas Coast area, and he thinks his region has a chance at producing and ginning a good crop this year. That’s not wishful thinking. He has been around long enough to know when there is reason to be optimistic.

Brough, general manager of EdCot Co-op Gin in Odem/Edroy, Texas, shares his thoughts on major agricultural issues and what lies ahead in 2014 in the following Q&A interview with Cotton Farming.

Does South Texas look better this year for making a cotton crop?

As I am speaking in early February, we have some dry spots, but overall the Rio Grande Valley is in real good shape with moisture. However, everybody north of the Valley needs a planting rain of some kind. The good news is that we have some underground moisture that we haven’t had in the last couple of years.

What about the current mood of ginners in South Texas?

Our ginners are ready to gin a crop – plain and simple. We’ll just have to wait and see if we get that planting rain and have the opportunity to process some kind of a crop. Hopefully, we’re about ready to get back to some kind of normal situation.

What about some of the success stories we’ve seen across the state?

With the new varieties that we have and the ability to have access to water, we’ve come a long way in the last four or five years. If you have these two situations, you have a chance at some really good yields.

Do you think ginners are making progress in handling the new round modules?

The ginning associations and National Cotton Council have done a good job of conducting educational programs on what we need to watch out for on the round bales. I think we’ll be fine if we can just keep our eyes on preventing contamination.

What are other issues that ginners will have to deal with in Texas?

Our biggest problems appear to be dealing with changes in weather patterns and having enough ginning capacity in good years. And, of course, we need to find a way to survive in bad years. “Zeroes” are hard to deal with, and most farmers and ginners will have some of those lean years.

How do South Texas farmers and ginners deal with the hurricane threat?

When a hurricane hits, there isn’t much you can do about it. You always feel lucky if you’ve already harvested the crop when a hurricane approaches. Most everybody on the coast has well-drained gin yards and good tarps. We can handle wind and rain, but a direct hit is a different ballgame.

What about Texas cotton quality?

The seed companies have done a good job in breeding and delivering varieties that give us good yields. Our quality is excellent and gives us a real competitive advantage. If we can get enough water, we can grow a lot of cotton in this state.

Are you looking forward to the TCGA Annual Meeting in Lubbock?

This is always a good meeting, and I look forward to seeing all of my friends there. It’s an event where you can find out what’s going on in the industry – especially when it comes to the latest technology. I am hoping that we have a lot of ginners and producers attending. Anytime that we can have good interaction at this meeting, it benefits everybody.

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