Brazos Valley Cotton’s Future

“Will the cotton seeds be worth this much next year? This is agriculture, and nothing stays constant. I don’t know. There’s nothing to indicate to me that we better start growing seeds instead of the lint.”

Andy Scamardo grows cotton in the Brazos Bottom and says that on a per pound basis, lint is still worth more than cotton seed.

“It would be nice to have the seed value contribute more to the bottom line. In the years past, it really was not a very big contributor. This year it had huge potential to be very helpful.”

We asked if cotton will remain a staple of Brazos Valley agriculture.

“As it stands today, cotton is still o.k. for another year. This is what Andy has done all his life, and I guess for three generations, so, this is the crop that I enjoy growing the most, but ultimately we have to grow something that we can produce profitably. And what is that crop right now? Things are changing so quickly, we’re not sure.”

Today’s farmers face new challenges.

“The biggest problem for me is our prices are so influenced by outside concerns. It’s not necessarily supply and demand all the time. Eventually supply and demand will take hold, but right now the big money funds are driving the prices of commodities to extreme values.”

And that, says Scamardo, has taken away the farmer’s ability to lock in some future prices on his crop.

“Right now under my operation, I still feel I can grow cotton as a crop that will probably do me as well or better than some of the other commodities, even though corn is very expensive, the input costs have, I think, outrun the price of the commodity.”

So for now, at least for Andy Scamardo, cotton will still be “king”.

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