By Doug Wilde
San Angelo, Texas
Commitment To Cotton
Since the early years of my life, all I have known is cotton. It started out when I rode on the tractor with my father, hauling cotton trailers to the gin with my grandfather, and now I have followed in their footsteps to make raising cotton my life. The changes that have just taken place during my lifetime have had an incredible impact on the cotton industry. From the changes in transgenic technologies to new harvest techniques, we have all been affected.
Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Indonesia and Hong Kong where I reported to cotton merchants and garment manufacturers about my West Texas cotton farming operation. The opportunity to see this side of the industry has been very influential to me. The mills’ major concern is fiber quality. They want a high-quality product no matter where it comes from.
Considering the fact that we are in a global cotton market, fiber quality should concern all of us as cotton producers. In my operation, I have discovered that the FiberMax genetics deliver that fiber quality.
Impact On Final Product
Even with technological advances, such as high-quality genetics from FiberMax, we, as producers, can have an impact on the final quality of our product. As harvest time approaches, we need to be reminded of some very important management practices that will maintain a quality product.
The first is preparing for harvest. We must use the proper harvest aids for each field. Don’t rush into harvesting; give the harvest aids ample time to work. Secondly, before a machine starts into a field, inspect it for contaminants. One of the worst contaminants is a plastic grocery sack.
Also, make sure your harvester is properly calibrated for the job. Next, module placement is very important. Stay away from low areas that hold water. Last, but not least, communicate with your ginner. Even though the cotton is in the possession of the gin, it still belongs to you.
Keep an eye on it through the ginning process. As producers, we need to do all we can to deliver that quality product.