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‘California Cotton Is Not Going Away’

By Jodi Raley California cotton producers, ginners, pest control advisers and cotton industry organizations gathered in the halls of the Visalia Convention Center for the California Cotton Growers Association’s 26th Annual Meeting. With 2015 California cotton acreage hitting a historical low, the industry is welcoming an estimated increase of up to 20 percent. Cotton Incorporated and Brooks Brothers, also in ... Read More »

A ‘Silent Killer’

California’s drought and environmental water reallocations  take a chronic toll on cotton. By Vicky Boyd Managing Editor Ever since he was 3 years old, Chad Crivelli — a diversified row-crop producer near Dos Palos, Calif. — has wanted to be a farmer. But California’s 5-year-old drought coupled with mandated irrigation delivery cutbacks have dampened this 36-year-old producer’s enthusiasm for the ... Read More »

Pre-Plant Decision Making

ARIZONA The outlook on cotton prices for the 2016 season still remains less than exciting. The saving grace for cotton may be that other commodity prices are not significantly better. This economic scenario requires that each input be scrutinized for its potential return on investment. This may not be the year to try something new that requires significant economic resources, ... Read More »

And So It Begins…

MISSOURI Missouri producers made it through the 2015 season with near record yields, so there is a lot to be thankful for. Although we didn’t have optimum climatic conditions, we were fortunate to have had had an overall favorable growing season. I have often wondered how much higher our yield could be with early planting and favorable conditions during the ... Read More »

Selecting Varieties for 2016

ARIZONA There are many decisions made by a grower over the course of a cotton-growing season, but few have as significant and lasting impact on the final outcome of the crop than variety selection. This is a decision that will need to be made soon, so it is time to begin considering your options. Variety evaluations conducted in various locations ... Read More »

Cotton’s Challenges Communicated

The National Cotton Council recently seized an opportunity to tell a key Congressional panel about the dire economic and regulatory challenges facing the U.S. cotton industry. What was the venue? The early December hearing was conducted by the House Agriculture Committee’s General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee. Testifying were: NCC Vice Chairman Shane Stephens, a Greenwood, Miss., warehouser; NCC Producer Directors Shawn Holladay, Lubbock, Texas; and Cannon Michael, Los Banos, Calif.; and two other producer leaders: Kent Wannamaker, president, Southern Cotton Growers, Saint Matthews, S.C.; and Nathan Reed, Arkansas state chairman, American Cotton Producers, Marianna. They were joined by Mike Wright, executive vice president, Agricultural Lending for City Bank, Lubbock. Where do the challenges lie? Vice Chairman Stephens detailed the current economic conditions characterized by reduced acreage, struggling cotton demand and the lowest prices since 1989. Providing an agricultural lender perspective, Wright painted a bleak picture for the Subcommittee saying that with margins getting tighter every year due to higher production costs and lower commodity prices – producers need above-average yields just to break even. There is no doubt, he stated, that some cotton farmers will not qualify for financing next year, and the ability to obtain financing will become increasingly more difficult as crop prices remain low. Wright’s testimony was reinforced by Reed who testified that production costs in the Mid-South have risen continually over the past decade and he feared that region is at a tipping point. Reed cautioned that once the infrastructure of gins, warehouses and related businesses are gone, they are not likely to return. Read More »