For the first time in decades, local farmers are choosing to shred their cotton crop rather than harvest it. They said it makes more economic sense for them to cut their losses and collect insurance.
Bishop farmer Edward Jungmann has been farming for more than 40 years, and this is the first time he's had to shred his crop to break even; and that is what most cotton farmers in Nueces County are doing this year, as are many in other counties as well.
Agricultural experts said they have never seen a situation like this before, calling it highly unusual. The drought has impacted the quality of the cotton crop and the price of cotton has dropped, so they said, when you do the math, it's a no-brainer: this is the year to plow and shred and collect insurance.
But the sight of all that cotton that's been shredded and plowed is a sad sight, and a sickening thing for a farmer.
Farmers said the cost of harvest, which is picking, stripping and ginning the cotton, just wouldn't make sense this year. So farmers and agricultural experts said local cotton gins are going to suffer the most, because this all means a lack of business for them.
Folks who run those gins said this is going to be really bad, and will hurt a lot of people financially.
Experts said 2009 was bad, but this year is different. Then, there wasn't anything to harvest, but this year is the first year folks can remember shredding this much cotton just to break even and cut their losses.
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