What is in this article?:
- Hale County farmer is working on his 67th crop.
- Installed drip irrigation two years ago.
- Enjoys watching things grow.
POINTS OF INTEREST, in Elmo Snelling’s Hale County, Texas, yard include old farm implements he’s restored. At 98, Snelling has seen significant changes in farm equipment and technology. Better cotton varieties, he says, has been the most important change.
For a short time he farmed in Hollis, Okla., and Hale County, Texas, flying back and forth to take care of the farm work and then getting back to Hollis for the Veterans Ag Program.”
His brother-in-law managed an airport and gave him access to planes as he needed them.
Snelling says he learned to fly around 1938, and stuck with it until he bought a boat and learned to water ski.
“We had a place down at Possum Kingdom, and we would go down and ski and then come back tired to the farm,” says.
He’s seen a lot of changes since he started farming on his own in 1946. The most important, he says, has been the improvements in cotton varieties, especially adding herbicide tolerance. “That change made it possible for farmers to add acreage and manage them effectively,” he says.
He was also instrumental in testing Treflan. “I helped organize the weed management district in Hale County, and we got some Treflan for test plots. We experimented with it and found it to be a great, great help. The ingenuity of man has been amazing.”
He likes cotton, but says he’s always liked to diversify. “I raised mostly cotton and grain sorghum. I used to grow corn, too, but decided I was selling water too cheap. I haven’t grown any corn in about 15 years. I like corn. We got it in and out early. It’s a good crop to grow but it has to have a lot of water; it does not tolerate dryland like cotton or grain sorghum will. The short-season hybrids we have today would do better.”