We are receiving some much needed rain this week, but the dramatic impact of this drought is beginning to materialize and the outlook is grim.
According to Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. this may be the first year there is a 100-percent abandonment of the 2 million-acre dryland cotton crop in their service area around Lubbock. That area, by the way, accounts for about 80 percent of the state’s cotton production.
When you consider Texas produced 43 percent of the nation’s cotton crop last year, or 7.9 million bales of the U.S. total of 18.1 million bales, the potential loss spells big trouble.
A huge reduction in cotton is not only bad news for the $1.4 billion cotton industry and its 38,100 employees, but also for parents buying blue jeans and socks for their kids. Less cotton will likely mean higher prices for the cotton-based products you and I buy off the shelves or the rack.
Agriculture is a tremendously fulfilling enterprise. If you have ever grown even a single plant in your home, you understand the amazing and delicate process of nurturing a single seed. Magnify that scenario by the massive amounts of food we eat, clothes we wear and all the other agricultural products that enrich our daily lives, and you get an idea of the devastating impact of entire crop loss.
Let’s keep our cotton farmers, and the communities that depend on them, in our prayers during these severe drought conditions and extremely challenging times.