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Cotton farmers celebrating ‘million-dollar rain’ just ahead of planting deadline

Lubbock, Tx
Lubbock, Tx(KCBD)
Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 4:07 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - “This is a multi, multi, multi-million-dollar rain that we’ve received here in just the last few days,” said Dale Kitchens, a Lubbock area cotton farmer.

It’s not expected to be a drought buster, but Lubbock producers are grateful for every drop that hit the fields since Friday. With all the rain Lubbock and surrounding communities have received over the last several days, Lubbock’s producers are now cautiously optimistic about the yield.

“Before that, it was bone dry on the dry land. We were out plowing and plowing and was shaking and rattling and hard clotty-dry ground, but that rain refreshed everything right on the top.”

Kitchens owns 9,000 acres across 34 cotton farms in the Lubbock area. He said the deadline to plant the cotton crop is June 5th, so this rain is an answer to a farmer’s prayer.

Kitchens said the Lubbock area has the largest acreage in the entire cotton belt and looking at future price predictions looks promising. With prices hovering above eighty cents a pound... A good year would set farmers ahead.

“It will be a weather market. If someone gets wiped out massive hailstorms or massive flooding in the delta that will move that market one way or the other. So, they are going to be real sensitive to weather for the rest of the growing season once the crop emerges,” said kitchens. “and so, it’d be a huge deal if we could come home and get the crop up and then a month or two later get another rain and another rain and make a bumper crop it would save a lot of farming operations. Absolutely. Be a godsend.”

A new drought map is expected to be released Thursday and it should be significantly different.

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