The sea of white cotton that has blanketed Nueces County over the past few weeks is fast disappearing. It's harvest time.
Kiii News Reporter Michael Gibson dropped by some of the cotton fields Wednesday and came back with more details on the economic importance of the crop, and how new varieties being tested may boost production in the future.
Cotton is such a big business in Nueces County that in a typical year, the County ranks 26th in the entire country in cotton production.
Nueces County Ag Extension Agent Jason Ott was on a farm in Petronila Wednesday looking over the baled cotton. It was part of an experiment to try and increase production on the land.
"Today we are actually harvesting a variety trial that we have that we're doing on-farm research with," Ott said. "This cooperator is looking at 10 different varieties of cotton and comparing performance such as yield."
The farmer will then be able to know which cotton grows best on his land and will know which variety he needs to buy next year to try and increase his profits.
"It's a big driver for the economy on the western end of the county and certainly impacts the City of Corpus Christi," Ott said. "About $150 million was the estimated production value of on farm receipts in 2016."
This year, Ott believes that the cotton crop will end up as good as last year's or possibly even better.