Oklahoma's Latest Farm
And Ranch News
Thursday, March 17, 2022
OSU's Seth Byrd On How Cotton Producers are Trying to do More With Less
Even though Russia only exports about 125,000 cotton bales annually, the effects of the Russia/Ukraine war will impact US and Oklahoma cotton farmers when it comes to input costs- including the price of Fertilizer. Farm director KC Sheperd spoke with Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Cotton Agronomist Dr. Seth Byrd. The topic of Fertilizer has been on the minds of producers for months. Byrd says while the price of Fertilizer is high, at this point, the high prices of cotton continue to offset the cost of Fertilizer so far, "Our price of cotton is still strong enough that there's a lot of interest in it. The fertilizer price by itself is not going to chase anybody away."

However, Byrd says producers still have to make money. With the market price high, and the input prices also high, producers are looking at ways to do more with less, "You know for us, it's about rates and placement of fertility and how can we be more efficient with our fertility when the prices are what they are." Byrd went on to say that sometimes you can learn from challenges like this in the long run by learning things from these black swan-type events.

Byrd said as he attends meetings with cotton producers across the state, the question that keeps coming up is How can they continue to do their work when input prices are high and EPA regulations are strict. Byrd said this is not going to be a "normal" year for herbicides, but it forced producers to look back at some of the previous traits that we didn't see before, 'Every time you get a trait, it tends to oversimplify things." But, Byrd says eventually, it all comes full circle, and traits don't last forever, "In this instance, it hasn't been a trait as much as its been supply."

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