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Wednesday, February 08 2023
South America

Houston: Texas faces worst cotton harvest in years due to drought, heat

Texas faces worst cotton harvest in years due to drought, heat
Photo Credit : IANS
Houston: The cotton industry in Texas is facing its worst harvest in years due to drought and extreme heat, local media reported.

Cotton is Texas’ largest crop and agricultural export and in a good year, production can net $4 billion to $5 billion for the US state’s High Plains region alone, which covers 42 counties stretching from Lubbock to the tip of Panhandle in the northwest, Xinhua news agency quoted a Texas Tribune report as saying on Wednesday.

The International Center for Agricultural Competitiveness at Texas Tech University estimates that cotton production in the state’s High Plains will be down by at least $2 billion this year, expecting just half the normal annual yield.

“There’s just not much crop out there,” Brad Heffington, a cotton farmer whose farm is about 40 miles northwest of Lubbock, told the newspaper.

“A lot of cotton burned up and a lot of it never even made it up to begin with.”

Though much of Texas has seen rain during the past two weeks, experts say it is two months too late for this year’s crops.

Texas’ High Plains produces an abundance of cotton and cottonseed, accounting for 66 percent of the state’s total yield, more than a third of the total crop in the US, and 4 per cent globally, according to the report.

The poor harvest is expected to drive up costs for consumers.

Cotton is also responsible for thousands of jobs in the state in related industries such as ginning companies, warehouses and oil mill processing plants.

Texas is facing its worst drought since 2011.

As 95 per cent of the entire state experiences drought conditions, farms have been forced to cut their losses, and cotton is just one of many crops suffering under the drought, the report said.

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