Texas Cotton Producers will Produce More in 2014

You will see more cotton planted in the high plains this year than last year.

The nearly 4 year drought is draining the water supply, and so are farmers trying to irrgiate corn.

So this year, farmers will be producing more cotton than corn.

There's an area across the country called the "cotton patch."

Texas AgriLife says it runs right through our area.

Stephen Amosson from Texas A&M AgriLife Life Extension says, in 2014 there will be about an  8% increase in cotton production nationwide, and a 12% increase in Texas.
He says AG officials expect more than 11 million acres of cotton nationwide, and about 4 million right here in the high plains alone.

We're still about a month away from cotton planting season, and Amosson says cotton is a tough crop to grow.

So, he says this year will be sort of a "learning curve" for a lot of area farmers.

But Amosson says they have to produce more cotton than corn this year, just to have enough water to make it through the production season.

As far as what kind of affect this change will have on our economy, Amosson says, not much.

He says, "although it does not involve more water, there's a lot of other things that need to go in to cotton, to control pests and all this other stuff that you do not have involved with corn. So the cost of production is very similar.   "

He does say though, that  using less water is key in having a successful 2014 cotton production season.

We asked Amosson how the unpredictable panhandle weather will affect the acres of cotton  being planted, and he tells us it will actually have no affect.

Though cotton production will start next month, Amosson says June is probably the time when cotton farmers will be the busiest.

The Texas High Plains is one of the largest areas of concentrated cotton production in the entire world.

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