Cotton Farmers Race Against The Clock To Plant

Cotton Farmers Race Against The Clock To Plant

Caitlin Williams
NewsWest 9

MARTIN COUNTY - The date to get cotton seeds in the ground is quickly approaching and area farmers are busy. For the past few years they've battled a drought, but with the recent rains they face a different challenge. West Texas farmers are used to adjusting to drought conditions and this year when the rain came in buckets, they didn't skip a beat.

"You just deal with it," said Martin/Howard County farmer Mark Hardgrave. "It's not something you dwell upon, not something you worry about, you just deal with it. It's just the nature of the business."

Martin and Howard County farmer Mark Hardgrave has nearly 2,000 acres of farmland, but this year, due to the wet ground a portion of that will not produce any cotton.

"At this point in time, we have approximately 200 to 300, maybe 400 acres that we cannot get to to plant," Hardgrave explained.

Farmers are facing issues across the state. Many parts of Texas have also seen a tremendous amount of rain. Texas Department of Agriculture's Communication Director Bryan Black says everyone is racing against the clock. For farmers south of Lubbock, the deadline is June 10, but for those north of Lubbock, their deadline is tomorrow.

"A lot of farmers have really been pushed to the brink right now to try to get their crop in because they are facing some very serious crop insurance deadlines and if they don't get their cotton seeds into the ground, they will be in some serious trouble," says Black.

Despite the trials and tribulations of farming, Hardgrave is just thankful to be doing what he loves.

"It's a good life," he said. "It's an excellent life. There is no better life than I've ever known than to work in farming."