May 5, 2018
Planting season is underway on the South Plains of Texas. From cloudy, humid days this week to clear, warm afternoons, all accompanied by gusting winds, growers are busy planting corn and cotton. Some areas even received varying amounts of rainfall – a brief reprieve from the drought. Corn planted two weeks ago has surfaced, while other fields are days from emergence.
According to the USDA NASS reports, corn growers intend to plant 88.0 million acres in 2018, down 2 percent from 2017. "If realized this will be the lowest planted acreage since 2015. Compared with last year, planted acreage is expected to be down or unchanged in 33 of the 48 states estimated," according to a March 29 report. That same report states an increase by 7 percent in cotton acres, a total of 13.5 million acres to be planted.
About the Author(s)
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 that have to be 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 a 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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