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Texas Cotton Remains In The Spotlight

carroll smith

Carroll Smith

Sometimes it’s fun to look back 10 years to see where we stand in relation to that time. In March 2009, former Cotton Farming editor Tommy Horton’s cover story was titled “Don’t Mess With Texas: Lone Start State Proudly Delivers Majority Of Crop.”

He says, “The indicators are that more than half of the cotton planted in the United States this year will be in Texas.” Going by the National Cotton Council’s planting intentions survey, Horton says more than 4.5 million acres are estimated to be planted in the state. The year before, “Texas planted 5 million acres out of an overall total of 9.4 million acres in the country.”

Carl Anderson, retired Texas A&M cotton marketing specialist, admitted that “when he began his career more than 30 years ago, he never thought he would see Texas become known as the leader in both acreage and cotton quality by such wide margins.”

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Yes, “The eyes of the world are on Texas,” Horton says, and he probably would not be surprised to see that the state’s cotton industry is still in the spotlight today. As a nod to his 2009 observations, we brought back a portion of his headline in the cover story, titled “Don’t Mess With Texas: Cotton Acreage Continues To Climb In The Northern Panhandle.”

Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M AgriLife communications specialist, reports that “Cotton acreage has almost tripled in the past five years in the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service District 1, which covers the 22 northernmost counties in the Panhandle.”

And just last month, Cotton Farming managing editor Vicky Boyd described how the cotton ginning infrastructure was stepping up to support Texas farmers’ commitment to the crop that has become ingrained in the state’s landscape.

“The number and sheer size of cotton gins in the north Texas High Plains continues to grow, fueled by burgeoning cotton acres,” she says.

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Ross Rutherford, vice president of product management and marketing for Lummus Corp., credits a new generation of ginning machinery for the explosion of new plants and the expansion of existing gins. One of the infrastructure success stories is Adobe Walls Gin in Spearman, Texas, “billed as the largest ginning point in the United States and perhaps the world.”

In a modern twist to the famous song lyrics, “the eyes of Texas are upon you,” I think it’s safe to say, “the eyes of Texas farmers are on cotton.” And all indications are it is destined to stay that way.

If you have comments, please send them to: Cotton Farming Magazine, 7201 Eastern Ave., Germantown, TN, 38138. Contact Carroll Smith via email at csmith@onegrower.com.