What are you anticipating for the 2013 cotton crop season?
First, our company is looking to have a good year. We always get our crop planted no matter what kind of situation we face. It can be a daunting task some years, but it seems like we always make it. Our farmers in eastern Arkansas are resilient, and they know what needs to be done before we start the season. Even if acreage reductions are out there, our company has a long-term commitment to cotton, and that won’t change.
Actually, I think we have a lot to be excited about in 2013. The cotton producer certainly has a lot of issues to deal with this year like the weather, acreage reduction and lower prices. But this is what our U.S. producers are all about – overcoming adversity. What makes it exciting for me is being around farmers who have a passion for growing this crop no matter what obstacles are in front of them.
I still think that 2013 could shape up as a good year for us even with the challenges we’re looking at with prices and lower acreage. I believe we’ll see better prices and increased cotton acres in the future for our industry. What gives me a good feeling is that we still have a customer base that is loyal to the cotton business. We are somehow going to weather this storm in 2013 and do what’s best for the industry. I have a lot of confidence that we can get through this situation and see things turn around. The main thing we have to do is protect cotton’s infrastructure as we go through this transition.
2013 may not be as good as 2012 was for our company, but we still have the potential to have a good year. I’m optimistic because of the feedback I’m getting from a lot of farmers. The acreage reduction for cotton will occur in some areas, but there are other areas like the Southeast and Southwest where we might have the same number of cotton acres. As we like to say, cotton is a resilient crop that won’t go away.
We’re still dry in south Texas, but we have two and a half months to go, so I am hopeful that we’ll receive the necessary rainfall and can start the season with enough soil moisture. If that happens, my next wish is for us to have some timely rains during the crop year. I can promise you that we haven’t thrown in the towel. We won’t plant until about April 15, and there’s time for us to receive a rain that could be just what we need. All we need right now is about three or four inches of rainfall. If you add about seven or eight inches over the next six months, we’ll be just fine.