With just average yields cotton farmers would have little trouble making profits if they knew prices would remain at current levels.

“But this is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” says Lubbock County, Texas, farmer Kirby Lewis. “I try to manage my cotton so that I can survive on 65 cents a pound. Yield and quality will keep us going.”

Rick Gude said consistency has gotten easier in the last few years with better varieties. “Cotton varieties now can take a beating early and if we get fertilizer on and take care of it cotton will still make good yields.”

Lewis and Gude were on hand recently for the grand opening of Monsanto’s Texas Cotton Breeding and Technology Center in Lubbock. Both praised Monsanto’s Delta and Pine Land varieties as top producers of high quality cotton.

“If we can make good production every year we can stay in business when the price of cotton falls off the cliff,” Lewis said. “And we will do well when price is good.”