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Mid-South growers tour Texas farms, gins and ag industry

Texas growers, industry give Mid-South producers a first-hand look at Texas agriculture.

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

August 29, 2018

21 Slides

For the 30th year, National Cotton Council, through its Producer Information Exchange or P.I.E. program, brought cotton producers together from various regions of the U.S. to  share ideas and learn from one another Eleven growers from Missouri,  Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee traveled to Texas, visiting four different regions of the state, seeing various commodities from cotton to cucumbers to sugarcane and grapes to sunflowers and sesame. While in Texas, they visited farms, cotton gins and warehouses, a fertilizer plant, the King Ranch and even the steel wall that lies along the U.S./Mexico border. 

An Essex, Mo., grower, when asked what he learned most about Texas agriculture on this tour, says, "How little water Texas growers have," says Chris Porter, who receives about 50 inches of annual rainfall a year. "It's bad enough they don't have much water available, but  it's actually going away really fast. And they utilize it the best way they can — they are always working to make it a better situation, to keep it but not use it up."


Chris Porter, a cotton grower from Essex, Mo., looks at corn grown on the South Plains near Plainview, Texas.

MID-SOUTH COTTON GROWER: Chris Porter, a cotton grower from Essex, Mo., looks at corn grown on the South Plains near Plainview, Texas.

Porter says one practice he learned about on the tour that he hopes to implement at home is the use of drip irrigation. "I think it's something we could definitely use. It's something everyone could use to mange water much better." 

In August, National Cotton Council also hosted groups from the Far West and Southwest regions in the Mid-South states of Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee and Southeast producers in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The tours are sponsored by Bayer.

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife, she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such as Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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