Texas Cotton Farmers Hurt by Coronavirus

The price of cotton is dropping as coronavirus fears grow and Texas farmers are feeling the affect.

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service cotton marketing expert Dr. John Robinson says decision time for what to put in the ground is approaching. On February 27 cotton futures were down to 64 cents per pound, about ten cents less than needed for profit.

“Cotton prices have gone down the same as the Dow Jones has gone down,” Dr. Robinson tells KTRH News. Consumers shouldn’t feel any immediate effect given the magnitude of the global cotton industry, he says, but Texas farmers will have to decide soon what they are going to put in the ground. Cotton farmers sign insurance policies by mid April.

“We don’t have that many choices in Texas in terms of alternative crops, particularly out in West Texas where it’s dry.Feed grains and wheat just don’t compete and cotton is the best thing,” says Dr. Robinson. He says he’s never seen anything like the current situation, and cotton isn’t the only commodity being affected.“Corn, wheat, sorghum, beef prices have been affected. Those markets have dropped some.Not as much as cotton but they have been affected somewhat.”

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