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'Pima is the only cotton we can grow'

Farm Press High Cotton Award winner Aaron Barcellos is among a small cadre of growers who produce cotton used in fine linens and clothing.

Todd Fitchette, Associate Editor

February 23, 2023

6 Slides

California cotton farmers like Aaron Barcellos have good reason to walk with their heads high. The extra-long staple cotton they produce in the West continues to gain popularity with large brands willing to pay premium prices for the fiber crop.

Barcellos is part of a small cadre of U.S. cotton growers capable of producing high quality Pima cotton used in fine linens and clothing. He is also this year’s Farm Press High Cotton Award winner from the West.

He and three other regional winners will receive their awards during a breakfast on Friday, Feb. 24, at the 71st annual Mid-South Farm and Gin Show in Memphis, Tenn.

“For us Pima is the only cotton we can grow and actually have a chance of making a profit because we can’t grow Upland in California and make a profit at today’s prices,” he said.

Barcellos farms in California’s agriculturally rich Central Valley, where he grows a diversified selection of crops, including row crops and tree nuts. He partners with his son Alec, his brother Aric Barcellos, and Aric’s son Jake. Together they farm over 2,000 acres of high-quality cotton and other crops.

Aaron is active in various local and national agricultural groups and cotton associations. He is the past chairman of the Cotton Board and serves on the board of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.

About the Author(s)

Todd Fitchette

Associate Editor, Western Farm Press

Todd Fitchette, associate editor with Western Farm Press, spent much of his journalism career covering agriculture in California and the western United States. Aside from reporting about issues related to farm production, environmental regulations and legislative matters, he has extensive experience covering the dairy industry, western water issues and politics. His journalistic experience includes local daily and weekly newspapers, where he was recognized early in his career as an award-winning news photographer.

Fitchette is US Army veteran and a graduate of California State University, Chico. 

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