King Cotton Dethroned? In One Area, Yes

Obstacles include drought and uncertainties in the world cotton market.
LUBBOCK, TX -- Cotton has been dethroned in South Texas; it is no longer king of all the cash crops in that part of the state.

“Unless things change drastically, the days of 200,000 to 300,000 acre cotton crops here in the Lower Rio Grande Valley are long gone,” said Dr. Luis Ribera, an agricultural economist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco.

The conditions Ribera mentioned include drought and uncertainties in the world cotton market. Farmers in the Lower Rio Grande planted more than 88,000 acres, but harvested only 38,348 acres according to the A&M AgriLife Extension.

Although it was far from a banner year, cotton is still very much king of the greater-Lubbock agricultural economy. For 2013 the Texas high plains are expected to produce just less than 2.5 million bales of cotton from 1.8 million acres actually harvested (3.76 million acres planted).
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