Active involvement in production, improving land quality, managing costs, and taking advantage of Pima cotton varieties topped the list of production tips from the 2015 class of Farm Press High Cotton winners, honored Tuesday at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in San Antonio.
Five U.S. producers, including a father and son team from Texas, accepted the 2015 Farm Press High Cotton Award Jan. 6 during the annual awards breakfast.
The 2015 winners High Cotton winners are: Rick Morgan, George Lacour, Ronnie and R.N. Hopper, and Mark Watte.
Father Ronnie and son R.N. Hopper of Petersburg, Texas, accepted the award from Southwest Farm Press. The Hoppers told the crowd that change is constant on the farm operation.
In 2006, the farm grew mostly continuous cotton and has since shifted to a rotation of cotton, wheat, and sunflower. The operation went 100 percent no till in 2008 to conserve water, soil, and other components.
One of the best moves a producer can implement to help farming success, says Ronnie, is to inspect and evaluate the farm on a regular basis.
Ronnie told the crowd, “The best fertilizer in the field is the farmer’s foot – being in the field checking the crop.”
R.N. says weather is the biggest challenge on their operation located about 60 miles north of Lubbock which receives an annual rainfall of about 26 inches. In the worst of the Texas drought several years ago, the Hopper farm received just four inches of rain all year.
Rick Morgan, Southeast Farm Press’ High Cotton Award winner, told the breakfast crowd, “I want to thank my parents for the opportunity to farm. That’s all I ever wanted to do after college.” See more on the 2015 High Cotton Award in Western Farm Press.