LUBBOCK, Texas — A devastatingly low cotton harvest is looming over Texas this season, according to recent reports from Plains Cotton Growers Inc. who cited lingering drought conditions.

Shawn Wade with Plains Cotton Growers Inc. in Lubbock confirmed that the drought this year has impacted not only their crops but crops all throughout Texas.

He explained that drought has affected cotton growers from a productivity standpoint, especially on dry land acres. About 2/3 of the Texas High Plains dry land acres accounts for the cotton production, while 1/3 is irrigation.

“Rains in early June really gave us some hope,” Wade said. “We haven’t had moisture since that time, and really havent been able to have much success.”

According to Wade, risk management tools such as crop insurance will help producers get through the economic hit they’re going to take. Regarding the community impact, Wade said it will trickle and ripple through the area.

“It’s going to be very difficult for local industries impacted…cotton gins, warehouses,” said Wade. “It puts a little bit of a damper on the money that can usually be generated.”

Despite the frustration of a cotton crop crash, farmers remain resilient and determined to find solutions.

“We’ll do what we normally do, try to get through this one, hope for a wet winter,” Wade concluded.

Drought struck parts of the U.S. last year, producing a small crop of 14.47 million bales for the 2022/23 season with a national yield of 950 pounds per harvested acre.

Wade said this year’s crop would probably be bigger than last year’s, but not much bigger. The United States Department of Agriculture projected a total production of 14 million bales of cotton for 2023/24.