Drought And Other Issues Looming Over Plains Cotton Producers as They Plant The 2021 Crop, Says Steve Verett, CEO, Plains Cotton GrowersWed, 05 May 2021 10:02:08 CDT
Farmers have always looked to the heavens for nourishment of their crops, especially in the semi-arid region of west Texas.
Steve Verett, CEO of Plains Cotton Growers, based in Lubbock, Texas, recently talked with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about weather concerns and other matters on the minds of cotton producers as they head to the fields this spring.
I think folks are getting very nervous, Verett said
Six weeks ago, we had plenty of time to get the moisture we needed to get the crop off to a good start, he said.
We havenít lost this crop yet but certainly the time is growing short, Verett added.
Many folks begin planting in May and the crop insurance deadlines beginning May 31 in the northern Panhandle are looming over the area, he said.
When you look at the drought map the most significant drought is along the New Mexico border, he said.
We have some areas that are drier than 2011, he said.
Fortunately, when you get east of Lubbock the drought areas are not as bad, Verett said.
If the drought was not enough to concern cotton producers this spring, Verett said there are additional worries about what is coming out of Washington, D.C.
The best chance we have of increasing dollars for the USDA is going to be in the conservation title, he said.
Itís absolutely critical that when programs are being developed, they take into consideration the differences in regions in the United States, Verett said.
Whatever ideas that are thrown out there about climate smart agriculture farmers need to be able to participate, Verett said.
Our definition of sustainability includes environmental and economic sustainability, he said.
Water is a concern, whether it comes from above or below the ground.
We know the future is not in irrigated agriculture, Verett said.
We have to figure out a dryland system that can be both viable both economically and environmentally, he said.
Research has been lacking in this area as it is tough to do research when you canít depend on weather allowing you to do multi-year projects, he said.
Environmental sustainability is important to cotton consumers, Verett said, applauding the industry for developing the cotton trust protocol.
If weíre going to have a system that verifies to consumers that what we are doing is sustainable, I would prefer to have a system that is developed by cotton producers, Verett said.
You can click on the listen bar below to hear more of Ronís interview with Steve Verett.
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