October 2018 is going down as one of the wettest Octobers on record, and farmers said the rain came at the worst time. Cotton gin experts said the damage from the rain and previous drought is dropping the value of cotton by at least 4 cents per pound.
“When you take 4 cents, that’s like $20 a bale over the course of somebody’s whole farm, and then suddenly it’s a lot of money,” said Jerry Butman, general manager of Lubbock Cotton Growers.
Cotton farmer Steven Brosch said even the slightest change in price can have a huge impact. He is letting his field dry out, and worries that if he strips it too soon it will add to that 4-cent deduction.
“The cotton dries back out and looks white again, but if you really start looking the burrs, you can see that it starts turning black and stains the lint,” said Brosch. “That’s when our quality goes down, and it’s worth way less money.”
However, Brosch also says that it is a lose-lose situation because if farmers wait too much longer, they could face re-growth and have to spray their crops all over again.
“Before the rain, the cotton all looked great, but now with all this rain, they’ve had to re-spray again, which is even more money gone,” said Brosch. “Basically everything happened when we didn’t need it to, and now we are dealing with the consequences.”