Four Texas cotton-producing families earn top honors in the FiberMax One Ton Club: Joe D. and Gail Schwartz and Mitchell and Lynette Jansa, both of Garden City; Mark and Robin Howard, Dalhart; and Kendall and Ruthie Holdeman, Saragosa.
Schwartz and Mitchell of Apple Creek Farms, were honored for the highest yield and gross value. They harvested an average yield of 2,538.52 pounds per acre with FM 2398GLTP, and earned a gross value of $1,451.53 per acre.
The Howards, who's are six-time One Ton Club qualifiers, were recognized for the most acres and varieties, harvesting an average yield of 2,099.52 pounds per acre on 431 acres with FM 1621GL, FM 1888GL and FM 2398GLTP.
The Holdermans were awarded for the highest loan value, garnering $0.5732 on their qualifying acres with FM 2574GLT.
Since 2004, BASF has recognized cotton producers who achieve four-bale or greater yields growing FiberMax cotton. This year, 78 producers across Texas, New Mexico and California qualified for the club, bringing total membership to 1,215.
Due to the pandemic, BASF was unable to honor the recipients in person at their annual banquet. But they did create a video highlighting three club members and their family farm operations, including the Howard's.
"Cotton's challenging," admits Mark in the video. "It's got a lot of risk, but it's also probably got your best rewards."
Mark, who comes from a long line of farmers, said they were looking for a good crop to rotate with corn when they started growing cotton. "We've been food corn growers since the early 70s."
The Howard family has been growing FiberMax cotton since it arrived in the Texas Panhandle. "And they've been our favorite ever since," he says.
Mark describes being a member of the One Ton Club as an honor. "It's an opportunity to spread the idea of success, especially up here in a new cotton area.
"When you have a passion for something it's good to talk to people that have a similar passion, it's fun to go with your peers and see their success and tell them what you might've done right or wrong that year."
First-time member and Tulane, Calif., grower David Cardoza, also enjoys the challenge of cotton production. "When I was in my early twenties, we were doing what we do to decide to come up with a bright idea that I was going to grow some cotton. We went and bought a cotton picker from a farmer west of us. It was an old 622 International. I'm sure they were happier to get rid of it than we were to buy it. I was pretty proud of that first machine," he says in the video.
Cardoza began growing FiberMax in 2020. "The short season and high yield are the great traits that is has."
He describes the One Ton Club as a unique program. "You have other growers trying to accomplish and exceed the same goals, so it's worthwhile."
Clarendon, Texas, producer Walker McAnear, echoes Mark and Cardoza's sentiments about why they enjoy producing cotton. "I like that it's not easy," he says in the video.
McAnear, a 4th-year One Ton Club member, grew up on a cotton farm. He produced his first cotton crop in junior high. "In high school, I got a farm that I'm farming to this day."
On his farm, Mustard Seed Farms, McAnear says he likes FiberMax cotton because of its quality and yield.
"My goal was not necessarily to be in the One Ton Club, but my goal is to be profitable and that comes with yield and quality."
Ford Super Duty
Along with honoring the new class of members, each is entered into a drawing for a two-year lease on a Ford Super Duty F-350 King Ranch truck. This year's winners are Charles and Janet Braden of B&P Farms, Inc, in Garden City.
To qualify for the One Ton Club, growers had to meet the following criteria:
- Produce a minimum of 2,000 pounds of ginned cotton per acre on a minimum of 20 acres planted with FiberMax cotton seed from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020
- Plant 100% FiberMax cotton seed on the 20 qualifying acres
- Farm in one of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia
- Provide gin recap sheets to verify 2,000 lb/A yield
Click here, to view a complete list of the 2020 FiberMax One Ton winners.