Cotton harvest starts to wrap up as growers celebrate a good yield and high cotton prices

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — The 2021 cotton growing season is coming to a close, a year that had a lot of ups and downs for cotton farmers.

“On faith and hope and optimism they are taking their life savings and their incredible investment and they are burying it in the ground and they are hoping and praying that sunshine and rain is going to bring it up,” said Crop Insurance Agent Joey Brown. “It’s a noble thing to support cotton.”

But luckily, after a dry start to the year, summer rains came to the aid of farmers, helping them to produce a large quantity of quality cotton.

On top of a good growing season, cotton prices are going up. Cotton currently sits at $1.11 per pound — the highest price for cotton since September 2011.

“That’s very healing financially,” Brown said. “We need to have old bank notes paid off, we need new equipment purchased, we need to acquire land, we need equity to grow and this crop is presenting a really good opportunity for a lot of guys to have some good financial healing.”

With farmers hopefully able to recover a little financially from the 2020 season, experts say it comes just in time as other costs are also going up.

“What it look like is that it’s going to be another pretty expensive production season. Just [based on] what the forecasts are on input costs, fertilizers, chemicals, those types of things producers need, fuel, obviously, that they are gonna need to actually produce that crop next year,” said Shawn Wade, Director of Policy Analysis and research for Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

But for now, farmers are just glad that this year, mother nature was on their side.

“We’re just thankful. Thankful for the year that we were given and certainly hopeful that next year will hold some similar promise,” said Wade.

Around 80% of cotton fields have been harvested already in the South Plains, with the rest expected to be harvest before the Holidays. Ginning, though, is expected to last into 2022.

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