LUBBOCK, Texas – The final plant date for cotton farmers in Lubbock County is June 5th. Because of the current drought, many of them are cutting that deadline close.
The final plant date ensures farmers get full coverage from their insurance. After that date, it drops by a certain percentage every day. This means the clock is ticking to get the seed in the ground.
For Steven Brosch and his many years of cotton planting, this planting season has been the most worrisome for him. He explained his gut feeling hasn’t quite kicked in yet.
“We’ll start on Monday, we’re gonna start planting some irrigated cotton where we have good moisture. We are down against the clock. So you know, we have to start somewhere,” he said.
He added that he doesn’t know when or if the weather pattern will settle, but he has to just take it as it comes and go with the flow.
Those with Plains Cotton Growers said that even with the little bit of rain the area has gotten recently, it’s still going to take a lot more to help these farmers get the cotton planted on time.
Shawn Wade, the Director of Policy Analysis and Research, said, “Those scattered showers that we have seen in recent weeks have really just not been all that much, or really been enough to, you know, kind of get any moisture into the soil.”
He said there will be some irrigated cotton, but probably not as much dryland cotton as they’d like to have going forward.
“It’s going to be a very difficult and very uphill climb,” he added.
As of right now, the waiting game is on for farmers. While they’re hopeful the rain falls on their fields this next week, Wade expects many of them will spring into action without it to beat the final plant date.
“Everybody do the rain dance! I mean, let’s get something going here,” Brosch said.