- Minnie Miller reports for The Times and Democrat that the South Carolina Cotton Growers’ Annual Meeting on Monday had a record attendance which predominantly included growers. Growers heard summaries from 2014, expectations for 2015, and advice on weed control, variety selection, and insect management strategies. Another major topic was the farm bill, with growers advised that sign up deadlines are approaching and decisions should be made by the end of the month. Growers were also advised by Georgia cotton economist Don Shurley that “If you grow cotton this year, and you will, you are going to have to be patient and wait for the market to move upward.”
- AgriMoney.com reports that the International Cotton Advisory Committee has forecast that global cotton production will decline this year, lead by China which is expected to drop output to a 12-year low. Global production is expected to fall only slightly behind consumption, however, with the result that prices are likely to remain low.
- The Deccan Herald reports that new hybrid Bt cotton varieties could increase yields and profitability for Indian cotton farmers by allowing for higher density plant populations which are also better suited to more efficient mechanical harvesting.
- Josie Musico reports for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that many South Plains cotton farmers are at least considering switching to other crops. Low prices due to the global surplus and high production costs have profits for growing cotton on a slim margin, and if prices slip much further it will cost more to grow than it can be sold for. While cotton is expected to remain the number 1 crop for the South Plains, “Even the most loyal farmer still likely has bills to pay … and will take notice of the alternative-crop market.”
- Ashlyn Tubbs reports for KCBD Channel 11 News for Lubbock, Texas, that part of the AgriLife Extension Research Center’s cotton harvest from its Lubbock location will be serving a special purpose this year. Aaron Osborn, a 22 year old student as South Plains College, planted some of the research fields just several weeks before being killed in a car crash, and his coworker and childhood friend has maintained those fields and plans on having the cotton harvested from them preserved as brick-sized bales wrapped in burlap to give to his Osborn’s friends and family as a memorial of the young man’s life and his love of farming.