Commodity Prices for Cotton Crop Hit 15-Year High

By Abby Reed
NewsWest 9

UPTON COUNTY - Ask just about any cotton farmer, and they'll tell you, turning a good crop into a good profit - is all about luck.  Today, commodity prices for cotton are at a 15-year high, nearly doubling what they were this time last year. 

A shortage in cotton across the globe, has made area farmer's cotton, a hot commodity.

"The price of cotton is the highest it's been since 1995 when there was a worldwide shortage of cotton, too," Upton County farmer, Billy Eggemeyer, said.

Commodity markets show cotton asking $1.09 per pound.  Compare that to this time last year, when it was only commanding about 65 cents.  However, just because cotton prices are on a upswing, that doesn't necessarily mean area farmers are cashing in on big profits.
According to Michael Clawson with the Ag Extension Agency out of Odessa, there are the costs of production.  Farmers must invest monies into their crop to make it grow.

"Input costs, generally the cost of your seed, the cost of your fuel to run the tractor or irrigation, energy costs, herbicide and insecticide costs figured in. There are labor costs," Clawson said.

"We have much more fertilizer costs for our electricity. We have $100 to $125 an acre in electricity charges, just trying to irrigate our crop," Eggemeyer said.

Whether a farmer is working with dry land production or irrigation, all of that money adds up.

"A bale of cotton is going to cost a producer about 60 to 65 cents to produce (per pound)," Clawson said.

However for farmers like Eggemeyer, who's worked his land for more than 30 years, it's not about the numbers.

"(It's) because of their love of the land, love of outdoors. Because you don't do this for the money, believe me," Eggemeyer said.