- Weather affected cotton maturity
- Green bolls cause delay
- Harvest prospects promising
Roger has been a dedicated no-till farmer since 2000 and hasn't used a plow since. "If you start no-till farming, you have to be patient," he said. "The benefits of no-till take awhile to see. You have to let the soil rebuild its nutrients over time. Eight to 10 years isn't too long for a farmer to wait to get solid returns from no-till."
Along with cotton, Fischer produces wheat, millet, hay and corn in rotation. He also has a commercial cow herd.
Fischer takes his cotton to the Red River Gin, owned by the Tillman Producers Cooperative at Frederick.
David Lingle, gin manager, says the gin has processed 5,700 bales to date. "We have a really good crop of cotton this year," he said. "About the only problem our farmers have had to deal with is cotton is still putting on green bolls.
"Modern cotton varieties with disease resistance and ability to produce high-quality cotton are giving growers the best product we have ever had," he said.
A small supply of cotton worldwide and high demand for its fiber by mills and clothing manufacturers have produced top prices for cotton this year.
"Some cotton has been sold for $1.38 per pound," Lingle said. "Anticipating this, cotton growers planted about 15 percent more acres this year. We have a good crop and a lot more acres to harvest. But many farmers have gone with their cooperatives to allow them to sell their cotton.
"Not anticipating prices this high, cooperatives pool their members’ cotton and typically sell a portion of it at different times of the year when demand is highest. Our marketing cooperative, Plains Cotton Cooperative Association at Lubbock, Texas, represents growers in North Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas."
PCCA members have approximately 25 percent of their cotton in a pool, he said. As of early November, PCCA had only 4,362 bales of cotton available for the current high prices.