Planting Decisions- From the Ground Up

“A lot of people have asked me, well you’re just going to go wall to wall cotton aren’t you, it’s a dollar a pound? I wish I could maybe. Maybe that would make more economic sense, but in the long run, for soil fertility and overall management of my farm, it’s better to continue the rotation.”

Lee Denena farms in Brazos and Robertson Counties.
“I’m kind of limited by water and my knowledge of crops I know how to grow, to what I’m going to grow. I’ve stuck with a pretty close to 50% grain, 50% cotton rotation now for the past 10 years or so, and I don’t intend to change that.”

Walter Vajdak farms in Burleson County, and he’s not planning on any big changes either.

“As far as crop mixtures, I think we’re going to stay about where we were. We might increase our cotton just a few acres, not too much.”
High prices on grain crops offer some alternatives.

“I think there’ll be a little more cotton planted than there was in the past years because of the price, but then the corn prices are up, the bean prices are up, wheat prices are up, and that’s going to take part of the market also.”

Cotton can potentially be a higher risk crop.

“ When you start looking at input costs and the possibilities of pest management and everything that can get into cotton, cotton’s got a high end, higher maintenance crop. It can be low maintenance crop, it can be a simple crop, but it has the potential to be, and it’s also a longer term crop throughout the growing season, whereas the grains are shorter and we get in and out of them quicker.”

So even with record breaking futures prices on cotton, don’t be looking for radical changes in the local farm landscape for 2011. I’m Bob French, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.


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