Looking Back on 2011
The Cotton Grower editors reflect on the year that was.
February 13, 2012
As we prepared to hunker down for the winter months at the Cotton Grower offices, Editor Henry Gantz and I began to reflect on the year that was.
There is no doubt that the main thing people will remember about the 2011 season is the wild weather that impacted production in every corner of the Cotton Belt. The drought in the Southwest, flooding in the Mid-South and a storm named Irene in the upper Southeast have all been well-documented.
But another unique – and certainly more pleasant aspect – of 2011 has been the sustained strong market for cotton. The cotton market has hovered at or above a dollar for a significant amount of time this year. What’s more, economists are predicting the long-term trading range for 2012 to remain high. For many growers across the Belt, we are truly in uncharted waters.
We figured that would be an appropriate theme for this December issue. We wanted to seek the advice of the cotton industry’s most respected experts and ask them a simple question: How should cotton growers handle this market? From a management standpoint, what does dollar cotton change? Do thresholds for insect pests get lower? Can you go full-bore with herbicide treatments? Is there a new piece of machinery out there – suddenly attainable – that can improve and enhance your operation?
Henry and I set out to answer each of these questions, and a few more, during the production of this issue.
We’re also taking a hard look at how the aforementioned weather from 2011 could impact your ability to plant your favorite variety. As you’ll see on page 36 and 37, company representatives from all of the major seed suppliers say there’s no need to worry about seed supply the 2012 season. That doesn’t mean there’s no cause for concern for the following year, though.
And as the winter meetings begin, we’ve got our travelling boots on as well. Hosted in Orlando from January 3-6, the Beltwide Cotton Conferences are sure to be the highlight of the winter.
As always, we hope to see you at the Beltwide. If we don’t catch up with you in one of the many informative conferences, we’ll keep an eye out for you at the amusement parks. And if you happen to spot us in line for a roller coaster while we’re supposed to be sitting in on a technical session, well, we’ll look the other way if you’ll do the same.