Another spring trip to Lubbock, Texas, has come and gone – and we salute the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association and Plains Cotton Growers for conducting two informative events. Maybe it seems as if we repeat ourselves in talking about these meetings every year, but there is no denying their importance to our magazine.
Such was the case this year in Lubbock.
I can remember the feeling I had last year at this meeting as Texas producers and ginners were cautiously hopeful that a recordbreaking drought would end and give everyone the chance at producing cotton. That didn’t occur, and the state wound up producing the smallest cotton crop since 1992.
Thankfully, West Texas has received some sporadic rainfall in the last few months, so we can safely say that the environment is better this year. But even with that bit of good news, we heard the same comments as we strolled around the TCGA Trade show at the Lubbock Civic Center. More rain is needed in the next 30 to 45 days for producers to be able to plant cotton.
The weather experts say the La Nina pattern is breaking up this spring, and that could mean more rainfall in many areas of Texas. Most cotton producers are counting on those weather patterns to do just that – break up a drought pattern and give the soil some much needed moisture.
Our staff had a chance to meet a lot of old friends in Lubbock that we hadn’t seen in a long time. While attending an event at the Civic Center one afternoon, I found myself sitting at the same table with veteran Texas producer/ginner Myrl Mitchell of Lenorah. This summer Myrl will turn 80, and he has seen it all in a career that dates back to when he graduated from high school in 1949. When you listen to Myrl talk about how the industry has changed during the course of five or six decades, you realize that we will somehow weather any storm that comes along.
For nearly an hour, we talked about industry folks we have known during the last 30 years and memorable events we’ve witnessed since the mid-80s. This was the kind of conversation that an ag media person treasures.
No matter what happens in this year’s elections or how the Farm Bill is eventually worked out, our friends in Texas seem to have the right attitude about the future. When you talk to Myrl Mitchell, he delivers the same message. Stay the course and give it your best effort during every crop year.
It’s that kind of optimism that will help our Texas friends get through any kind of challenge – now and into the future.