One of the more fascinating developments in Texas Panhandle agriculture in recent years is seeing how much of a cotton-producing region we have become.
The increase in devotion to cotton among local farmers has been especially evident the past couple growing seasons. There’s a lot more cotton showing up on the landscape, especially for an area long known as going almost exclusively with corn and sorghum for summer crops.
Why the change?
Basically, it comes down to prices. There are certainly other factors that come into play for each individual farmer in his or her decision-making. But on a profit/loss basis, these days cotton will simply “pencil out” better than grain for many producers.
National Cotton Council is projecting a 3.7 percent increase in U.S. cotton acreage for this year. Based on my conversation with Steve Verett, executive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers, it also seems like another increase in our area this year is quite likely: