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My Turn

The Fabric of My Life

In August of 1978, I was two weeks old when we moved into our new house. It was just outside of Princeton, N.C., and across the road from the home of my maternal grandparents. The agriculture industry is full of great people.” Like many in his day, my granddaddy operated a small farm. He kept a herd of 20 to ... Read More »

Heavy Rains Were Beneficial

Texas is known for volatile weather, which can have a significant impact on agriculture in the state. Cotton crops fluctuate with what Mother Nature throws at us, and for good reason as many of our acres are dryland production. Although this year has been challenging with all the rain we have received, it generally works out that we make more ... Read More »

R.I.P. – The Loan Chart

The Loan Chart has taken a fatal blow. After more than half a century of existence, it simply didn’t have the capacity to adjust to the shifts we saw in this past year. Specifically, there has been no way to account for cotton staple longer than 36. Until recently, no one had the capability to grow the type of crop ... Read More »

Riding On The Planter

Robert Royal

When I was about 13 years old, my father gave me my first real paying job on the farm, and I was very proud to become a part of the team. My assignment was to ride on the planter. It wasn’t a cushy job, because the days were long, and the old planter was a Rube Goldberg contrivance that was ... Read More »

Keeping Cotton King Of The High Plains

When I look back over the years since I first moved to Lubbock to begin my career with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service working in cotton, several things are clear with regards to cotton production in the Texas High Plains and Panhandle regions. Producers in the region are highly progressive and always looking for and trying new technologies and varieties that enable them to continue to produce high yields of excellent quality cotton. Also, their faith in God is unwavering as proven by their resolve even when faced with less than favorable growing conditions in an ever-changing environment. As I have heard, and have repeated several times myself, “if you don’t like the weather in Lubbock, just wait a minute, it will change.” As we have witnessed over the years, each growing season is different with its own set of “challenges” that producers must overcome in order to have a successful cotton harvest. More recently, Texas High Plains and Panhandle producers have dealt with extreme drought conditions that have, just this winter, shown significant signs of improvement. Read More »

The Low Price Leader

 This Farm Bill will help keep cotton grown in Georgia.” Being a cotton farmer seems to change every time we go through a Farm Bill. This time, we are going through significant farm law changes, and the market isn’t helping us very much either. We seem to always find a way to adapt, and I’m sure that Georgia cotton producers ... Read More »

The Newest Frontier

Being a farmer, especially a cotton farmer, is a challenging yet rewarding occupation that today seems to be very underappreciated by our consuming society as a whole. The profession of an agriculturalist was once viewed as a noble and proud profession. When did that change? Many of this country’s founding fathers were farmers looking for personal freedom, religious freedoms and ... Read More »