West Texas Farmers Dealing With Higher Costs

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

COYANOSA - For workers on the Mandujano Brothers farmland in Coyanosa, it's just another day on the job. But what you don't see here on these acres and acres of farmland are all the rising costs making it tough on West Texas farmers.

"What we've been trying to do here is we're trying to put out as many of the variables as we can," Armando Mandujano, with Mandujano Brothers Inc., said.  "We're trying to take out the risk of high fertilizer price going up, we're trying to take out the risk of having low market prices for our produce."

And that's on top of high costs for diesel fuel and electricity. The main idea: don't get caught empty-handed.

"Oh it takes a lot of pre-planning. A couple of months ago, we got with our fertilizer company, and we purchased I'd say 90 percent of our fertilizer. Yesterday, you know we contracted our electricity for a fixed price we thought we could live with," explained Mandujano.

Farmers in West Texas said with the high prices of wheat, corn, and soy beans, one strategy could actually be to make sure you have enough cotton year round, they said this could actually help to off-set a lot of those high costs.

"The only risk we're going to have here, hopefully, the rest of the season is the risk of producing the crop," said Mandujano.

But there are strategies to help there too. Certain tunnels are built like little greenhouses to help grow watermelons more efficiently. And it's new growing techniques along with years of experience that help West Texas farmers to stick with their day-to-day job.

"We know within reason what we can produce, you know off our peppers, off our melons, and hopefully it will pencil out at the end of the season," Mandujano said.