Cotton Proves To Be Durable Crop
KSCB News - November 14, 2011 8:12 am
Farmers who grow irrigated cotton say
the lingering drought that decimated crops this summer in southwest
Kansas show that their crop is a viable alternative as water
supplies continue to dwindle across the state.
While corn is still the overwhelming crop of choice in Kansas,
cotton supporters say their crop has a major advantage – it uses
one-half to one-third of the water that corn requires.
After spiking at more than 115,000 acres in 2006, cotton acres
in Kansas have declined in recent years, mostly because of higher
commodity prices for corn. More than 4 million acres were planted
to corn last spring, dwarfing the 67,000 acres of cotton planted
this year, according to Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service.
However, the cotton crop increased by more than 10,000 acres
this year, thanks in part to record-high commodity prices last
In south-central Kansas, Gary Feist, general manager of the
Southern Kansas Cotton Growers gins at Winfield and Anthony, said
his territory would harvest 31,000 acres of cotton this year, an
increase of nearly 10,000 acres from last year. Forecasts for next
year are for up to 35,000 acres.