COTTON TOUR: Visiting Farmers Learn Techniques from Local Farmers


Fifteen farmers from around the nation are here in the region learning farming techniques from farmers on the South Plains. This cotton tour was organized by the Cotton Council in hopes to share knowledge from across regions to produce the best crop.

"What's good on one field can be negative on the other. But that's farming," said Katy Seaton, a farmer in Brownfield.

Dylan Cody, a cotton farmer from Georgia, said he's on the trip to learn some techniques that he might be able to use at home. "When we were coming in, I saw some skip-row cotton," he said. "That's something we don't have any of in Southwest Georgia so I want to learn more about that."

Although the climates are different in Georgia and West Texas, he said it's worth testing out if it will make his product better. "I'm not sure if anything could apply to us but I want to know why they do it and the reasons they do it," Cody said.

Seaton said meetings like this among farmers are helpful to grow the industry. "Everybody evolves when they're around someone who is raising the bar," she said. "Farmers are the most intuitive problem solving people in the planet. They are the human and the face and the industry behind food and fiber. Everyday if you eat and everyday you get dressed, you need to thank a farmer."

One challenge all farmers agreed on was unexpected weather. Regional farmers said the recent and unusual amount of rain this summer has been good for cotton but hard on other crops that are growing in popularity on the South Plains.

"It depends on what crop you're talking about. As a farmer, you would never cuss rain," said Seaton. "The good late August rains are fantastic for cotton. They're harder on our grapes."

Seaton, who also owns a vineyard, said the rain requires more monitoring for the grapes and an aggressive spray schedule.

Right now, there are about four thousand acres of grapes in the region and more than five million acres of cotton. Even though more vineyards are sprouting up in West Texas, Seaton said cotton is still king.

"We're extremely dedicated to the crop who brought us, dance with the crop who brought you and that would be cotton," she said.

The visiting farmers will continue their tour in South Texas and talk to farmers in that region as well. 


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