Cotton Harvest

By: Joe Brown
By: Joe Brown

“This crop was much better than we anticipated at the beginning of the summer. Because of the lack of rain all winter long, we were really worried about, the plants were going to suffer a lot during the summer. Even ‘til we got to the point we were harvesting, we didn’t feel we had as good a crop as we did.”

Andy Scamardo says that irrigated cotton yields were good, very comparable to those of last year.

“The dry land acres suffered pretty severely this year. We had no sub-moisture and got very few rains during the season.”

We did start getting some rain before harvest was completed.

“We only had a couple of inches of rain during harvest which is pretty good. Most of the crop was harvested prior to being damaged.”

But what about the cotton modules waiting to be ginned this week when the heavy rains hit?

“It can’t penetrate the top of the bale or loaf because of the tarp. It doesn’t penetrate the sides. Now assuming you don’t have it sitting in a low spot that the water actually puddles from the bottom, it will come out unharmed.”

Scamardo says that Brazos Bottom cotton quality ranges from mid to high grade and is used to manufacture upper scale clothing. Why do our local producers grow superior cotton?

“These soils are very fertile compared to a lot of soils in Texas, and I think the big difference is that we have a water table that is very shallow, say compared to West Texas, and some of the other areas that are trying to pump from 3, or 4, or 500 feet down, which becomes really difficult to do with the cost of fuel.”

So if you like wearing cotton, you should tip your hat to the cotton producers in the Brazos Valley. I’m Joe Brown, tracing the journey or food and fiber makes from the farm to our homes, From the Ground Up.


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