Farm Progress

"Yields look promising," says Huguley. "But I won't know about the quality of the cotton until it's graded."

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

October 27, 2017

12 Slides

Cotton harvest on the South Plains is underway. Two weeks of warmer, drier and sunnier weather helped open bolls and raise optimism among growers. 

Lamb County cotton producer Preston Huguley began his harvest season Oct. 25, 2017, on one of his fields southeast of Olton, after applying harvest aids Oct. 12 and seven days later, a desiccant.

"Yields look promising," says Huguley. "But I won't know about the quality of the cotton until it's graded."

As producers and cotton harvest crews head to the field, Cotton Incorporated reminds everyone of the following safety measures:

  • Always read and understand the operator’s manual for the equipment you are about to operate. Pay special attention to safety concerns and follow all safety procedures to prevent injury or death.

  • Operate harvesting machinery at appropriate speeds, taking into account ground conditions and slope.

  • Harvesting equipment is often “top-heavy.” Do not dump harvesters on sloping ground, in high winds, near electrical lines, or while moving. Make sure the rear axle stabilizer system works before dumping.

  • Always keep a fully charged fire extinguisher on harvesting equipment. If you detect a basket fire in time, dump the load on the ground and move the harvester away quickly. Never try to extinguish a fire from inside the basket.

  • At least once a day, clean seed cotton, lint, and trash from the engine compartment and other heat sources on your harvester. Keep these areas clean, and you will greatly reduce the chance of machine fires.

  • Always install mechanical cylinder stops or blocks before you perform maintenance on row units, under raised baskets, or under other hydraulically controlled systems. Stops and blocks will prevent the systems from lowering unexpectedly.

  • Wear close-fitting clothing and pay close attention when you work around harvesting equipment. Before you get near any moving part, make sure the parking brake is set and the engine is shut off.

Southwest Farm Press staff would like to wish growers a safe and bountiful harvest!

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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