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Editor’s Note

Cotton Insect Pests Don’t Give Up Easily

Tommy Horton

At times, it appears that the cotton insect landscape changes more quickly than the Dow Jones Industrial numbers on the stock market each day. We blink our eyes, and a new insect has become a serious threat in a region of the Cotton Belt. Or, in other cases, a pest that was dormant for several years suddenly flares and catches everybody by surprise. To the outsider, it’s as if Mother Nature won’t let us off the hook. For example, just because the cotton industry eradicated the boll weevil many years ago doesn’t mean farmers are home free. The next pest threat is just around the corner. Read More »

New Season Needs A Strong Start

Tommy Horton

Now that planting season is upon us, the question becomes how can this year’s cotton crop get started in the best possible way? Most farmers and Extension specialists will tell you it’s all about timing and making sure optimum conditions exist for that tiny seed in the ground. It’s such a simple scenario, and yet so crucial for the success of the crop. Sometimes I like to think of planting season as another version of the Kentucky Derby, which ironically takes place on the first Saturday in May at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Starting the race fast is so crucial for the horse that eventually wins. And, likewise, the young seedling needs to emerge from the soil with plenty of vigor and growth potential after planting. Read More »

Planting Season Brings High Hopes

Tommy Horton

No matter how challenging the task, you can count on cotton producers to find a way to deal with a crisis. That is their nature. Whether it’s unpredictable weather, insect or weed pressure, new farm laws, political questions or, yes, even low prices, the farmer will find a way. And, as cotton is about to be planted across the Belt ... Read More »

Cautious Optimism For Texas This Year

Tommy Horton

When you thumb through this issue of Cotton Farming, you will notice a definite Texas theme in the stories – and there is a reason for that. Our staff is preparing to travel to Lubbock next month for the annual meetings of the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association (TCGA) and Plains Cotton Growers (PCG). This is easily one of the highlights ... Read More »

Young Farmers Offer New Enthusiasm

Tommy Horton

We have known for a long time that young cotton farmers are different from their fathers in many respects. Maybe that’s a generational fact of life on the farm, but there is no denying that we are witnessing a remarkable transition today in agriculture. The young farmer isn’t afraid of change, and he certainly isn’t intimidated by technology and all ... Read More »

Global Competition Can Be Challenging

Tommy Horton

It is no secret that U.S. cotton is competing in a global market today that is difficult to understand. In fact, it is downright confounding that so many factors can affect how and when a farmer’s cotton reaches the customer. This is a far cry from a decade ago when U.S. cotton producers’ best customers were the textile mills right ... Read More »

December’s Theme? Keep Looking Ahead

Is it possible that this 2014 crop season is now in the record books, and farmers already are making plans for 2015? It’s hard to believe. I know we find ourselves repeating this thought every December, but the time seems to fly by faster as we get older. It is the only explanation I can come up with. I do ... Read More »