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Black-eyed pea harvest underway

Southwest producers reflect on their first year growing peas.

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

October 9, 2020

Northeast of Cotton Center, Texas, Joe McFerrin and his daughter Shelley Berry and her husband Shane Berry, are harvesting their first crop of black-eyed peas. The trio switched from corn to black-eyes last minute when it became clearer the region's spring drought was going to persist. 

Their yields are averaging about 2,500 pounds per acre, about double the average for the region. McFerrin and the Berrys discuss what worked and lessons learned in their first year of production. 

Next, McFerrin and the Berry's discuss their water situation and production in 2021 as they are faced with a continuous drought and cheap commodities. "You hate to give your water away," McFerrin says. 

For harvest recommendations or to read more about their operation, click on the following links:

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Black eyed Peas

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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