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Producers Richard Gaona and Jeff Posey discuss dry conditions, varying growth stages, and issues facing area cotton growers.

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

July 14, 2020

Farm Press recently visited the Texas Rolling Plains to see how cotton production is progressing on the farms of Richard and Judy Gaona and Jeff and Phiny Posey.

North of Roby, the Posey's discussed their dryland and drip-irrigated cotton, along with their bumper wheat yields -- 75 bushels an acre. They also mentioned their experimental corn crop. 

"But cotton is our number one cash crop in this area," Jeff said, who also serves as chairman of The Cotton Board.

See, A tornado, COVID-19, tariffs, low prices, don't deter Chairman Posey

Jeff described the 2020 cotton crop in Fisher County as "all over the board. Some crops are good, some crops are bad and some are being destroyed at this time."

South of Roby, the Gaona's discussed their skip row cotton and how within the same field, their cotton is at different growth stages. Some of the cotton emerged after it was planted, Richard explained, while some of the plants did not appear until after a rain.

"We thought we had enough moisture to get this cotton crop up," Richard said. "But apparently we didn't."

Richard, who is the chairman of the Rolling Plains Cotton Growers, also addressed issues facing growers in 2020 from financing to prices to government programs. 

See, Walkin' in high cotton 

Government programs are helpful, he said, "But it's a bandaid. It's not a fix. It will help us until next year, but what happens after that?"

To take the Texas Rolling Plains cotton crop to harvest, Posey and Gaona agree rainfall is a must.

Watch the video above to hear more from their interview. 

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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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