SEBASTIAN – Cotton farmers are saying this year’s crop was good but so close to being even better. Despite the drought, farmers might be willing to take another chance next year if the price is right.
The cotton fields are empty. The bails are stacked. The money is in the bag. Farmers made out OK considering the conditions.
“Just did not have any rain all year, no rain at all,” says Chris Breedlove.
Breedlove runs the Sebastian cotton gin. He says this was shaping up to be a great year for cotton after farmers spent the last four years planting mostly grain.
“The land, it was ready to have a good cotton crop,” says Breedlove.
Farmers hustled to bring in the crop when Tropical Storm Don was brewing in the gulf. A huge storm could have destroyed a good crop. A small storm could have turned a good cotton season into a great one.
“If we would have just had one rain, that’s it. If we would have had one rain, we would have had a great crop,” says Breedlove.
Tropical Storm Don turned out to be nothing. Breedlove says farmers still came out OK. They planted twice as much cotton because of the high prices. Cotton is selling right around $1 a pound.
“That’s nearly twice what they were getting four or five years ago,” says Breedlove.
Breedlove says those farmers will risk another drought if the prices stay that high. Good rains this fall will add some incentive.
“You know, look at it today. It’s blue skies, and you sort of hope that we get some rains like we did last fall,” says Breedlove.
Breedlove says farmers will take the same approach they do every year: plan for the worst and hope for the best.