Cotton is unlikely to regain its prominence in the Lower Rio Grande Valley without drastic changes in climate and the global market.
The days of quarter-million acre cotton crops in extreme South Texas are a thing of the past, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts.
“Unless things change drastically, the days of 200,000 to 300,000 acre cotton crops here in the Lower Rio Grande Valley are long gone,” said Dr. Luis Ribera, an agricultural economist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco.
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Ribera refers says drought, the preference of growers to plant grain sorghum and uncertainties in the world cotton market due to China’s huge and unpredictable influence affect cotton acreage.
“Cotton down here will never go away completely because it’s a rotation crop for grain sorghum,” he said. “Among other things, cotton as a rotation crop helps growers manage weeds in their sorghum crops, and vice versa. Unless a better rotation crop is found, cotton will still be grown here.” http://today.agrilife.org