Challenges loom as High Plains cotton harvest nears midway point

Lamesa, Texas, cotton farmer Shawn Holladay, who is also president of Plains Cotton Growers, offered Southwest Farm Press editor Ron Smith an opportunity to ride along on a John Deere CS690 cotton stripper/baler on a warm, clear day in late October.

Holladay talked about how well the machine is running, how difficult and costly weed control has been for the 2015 crop, and early setbacks from heavy rain followed by another dry summer.

Yields are “about what I expect but not what I want,” Holladay says.

He also criticized Congress for threatening to reopen the 2014 farm bill and expose crop insurance to severe cuts.

Holladay also was harvesting at a brisk pace to stay ahead of a predicted El Niño and a wet fall and winter.

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