LUBBOCK, Texas — Cloudy, foggy weather stalled West Texas farmers from harvesting their cotton on Wednesday. A harvest that would usually take only two weeks for cotton farmers like Kirk Martin, is now taking longer since Martin can’t harvest in wet conditions.
“We haven’t harvested all week,” Martin said. “Last week we had a lot of good running. We were running 18-hour days, starting at nine o’clock in the morning and shutting down at 11 p.m. or midnight,” Martin said.
Now, Martin is lucky to get in a few hours of work on a cloudy day, but it all depends on the weather.
“If that’s two or three hours of dry weather, then we might be able to do it,” Martin said.
However, this won’t stop Martin from finishing the job. Harvest season is when farmers finally get to see how much they were able to grow over the year and it’s when they get paid for their yields. The job will be finished, but the finish line just keeps getting pushed back.
“I was hoping to be done by Thanksgiving, but we’re just delayed,” Martin said.
Martin said he can never be mad at the rain as a West Texas farmer, but he does hope to see some more sunshine and clear skies for the next few days so he can get his cotton harvested. He said he needed the rain much more during the summer.
“We thought it was gonna be a really good year and then it quit raining from May until September so the cotton just didn’t grow,” Martin said.
Martin lost about 750,000 pounds of dryland cotton because of the dry and hot summer weather, but he said the cotton that did grow looked surprisingly good.
“It’s comforting to have something to do better than what you expected, especially when you get kicked in the teeth all year,” Martin said.
According to Martin, his crops look much better than they did last year overall. His crop insurance will help him with the cotton he did lose, which many other farmers will rely on this year as well.