Brazos Valley Cotton

By: Joe Brown
By: Joe Brown

“The bulk of our acreage in Texas is dry-land, so those producers are at the mercy of Mother Nature for moisture, and unfortunately this year we’re in a severe drought situation.”

Robert Lemon is an agronomist with the Texas Cooperative Extension Service.

“Those failed acres generally do not emerge to a stand because there is no moisture in the ground to germinate the seed, and so those acres are failed out. We’ve also had some other calamities that hit us.”

Edward Schnieder is Robertson county’s extension agent.

“Early we had some problems with hail out on a large portion of our cotton, some beans, some corn, mainly got hurt on the cotton. We had to replant, so we’re a little behind on some of our crop.”

“The area in the Brazos Bottom, we have been dry as we have been across the other portions of the state this year, we have had to pre-irrigate some of this cotton, or pre-bloom cotton if you will, and so we’re looking at greater costs in terms of irrigation because of fuel costs.”

“We have gotten some rains in between that have been useful, but we still don’t have the underground moisture it’s going to take to finish out the crops.”

The first week in July brought some needed rains, but another dry period will force more irrigation.

“The cotton crop in the Brazos Bottom, which looks good right now, and I would venture to say it will be another good crop in the Brazos Bottom, we’ve got good producers and good irrigation, but it’s going to be a costly crop.”

And what about the cotton markets?

“Could the calamity in Texas affect cotton prices? Obviously, it could, but knowing exactly how that might turn out is another question. My crystal ball’s still pretty cloudy when it comes to pricing structure.”

How costly will the cotton crop be, how good it will be, and what will happen to cotton prices? As usual, our farmers will have to wait and see. I’m Joe Brown, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From the Ground Up.

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