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My Turn

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 »

The Time Is Now

Another bearish cotton supply and demand report is released and ongoing issues continue with Turkey – our second largest market. Cheap oil means cheaper polyester. A generation of our greatest leadership is retiring in Phil Burnett, Mark Lange, Wally Darneille and John Maguire – not to mention others. Cotton has dipped below 60 cents per pound, and the Commerce Department ... Read More »

What’s Next For Cotton?

Crisis. It’s hard to even think about the future when things seem to be crumbling down around you. In the cotton business, it’s rare to find a sustained period of good crops, reasonable prices, a stable farm program, strong demand, affordable input costs…and the list goes on. At the moment, each of these issues is a challenge for us. Cotton ... Read More »

Surviving Low Prices

By Kelli Merritt merrittkelli@gmail.com Perhaps the most unwieldy element I encounter as a producer is the market. It might feel like it’s the lack of rain, or the heat or even the surprise hailstorms, but really the most dynamic and unpredictable part of growing cotton is the buying and trading, selling and hedging, marketing and promoting. Very few of these ... Read More »