Oklahomans Poised to Plant Largest Cotton Crop This Year Since the 1980s, Thanks to New TechnologiesMon, 26 Jun 2017 16:13:29 CDT
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays had the opportunity to catch up with State Cotton Specialist Dr. Randy Boman at the recent groundbreaking ceremony for the Carnegie Farmers Coop and Elevator’s new cotton gin facility, about the rise in cotton acres here in Oklahoma, and what is behind this move being taken by farmers across the state. You can listen to Hays’ full interview with Boman, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of this story.
“We are in the midst of quite a revolution in terms of cotton production,” Boman remarked. “There’s a lot of things happening and it’s not just business as usual anymore.”
Thanks to some significant developments and advancements in cotton related technology over the last few decades, be it in pesticide or herbicide technology or new innovative harvesting equipment, Boman says we are experiencing a renaissance of sorts in the cotton industry.
“We just happen to be lucky that cotton right now has seen a lot of success the last couple years,” he said. “It’s a combination, kind of a perfect storm, of a lot of technologies coming together at once.”
Boman illustrated his point, citing that in 2016, Oklahoma produced its largest cotton crop since 1944, on just 300,00 acres – producing about 600,000 bales of cotton. Farmers produced roughly that same amount in 1944, but it took them approximately 1.5 million acres to pull it off.
And it is expected to only go up from there, here in Oklahoma. The US Department of Agriculture will soon release its planting intentions report and some speculate Oklahomans could be preparing to sow a half million acres in cotton this year, the largest planting in Oklahoma since the 1980s. Boman downplayed any notions that we would be setting any record yields this time around, noting that conditions do not look favorable for pulling it off, but he says it is well within the realm of possibility that we harvest another 600,000 bales again.
“My hat is off to this group up here,” he said referring to the Carnegie Coop. “I think they see the value in cotton production for this area.”
You can listen to Hays and Boman speak more in depth on the rise of cotton production in the state, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below, or jump to a previous story for more information on the Carnegie Coop’s new cotton gin facility – click here.
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