Central Texas Cotton Harvest 2019: It Takes a Village

Cotton closeup

The sheer number of individuals in Central Texas that come together to make each cotton season a success is truly amazing. Photo credit: Cassidy Nemec.

It was a “wet…then dry…then wet again” kind of year in Central Texas during cotton season.


Getting cotton in the ground proved difficult in many places as farmers had to wait for moisture levels to reduce. Once moisture content settled out, it was pretty smooth sailing for a while. Aside from some remote hail damage in the northwestern portion of Central Texas, the end of the season wrapped up moderately well.

Cotton closeup sunI began to think about all the people my dad comes into contact for the purpose of growing cotton with over the course of the year, and was bewildered by the sheer number of individuals that both are accountable for and come together to make each cotton season what it is. These individuals include everyone from chemical sales representatives, distributors, manufacturers and even other consultants in the area. I realized that even though my dad is an independent consultant, he not only has to take all these different people into account, but he has to give even more consideration to each individual. He needs to make sure that what each is offering, promoting and executing is beneficial, cost-effective and yield-enhancing for the crop and farmer.

Not an easy task with that set of criteria, I may add.

I took another moment to think about all that goes into producing one crop for one farmer, multiplied that by my dad’s roughly 25 farmers and multiple crops, and realized that farming truly “takes a village.” I cannot fathom the amount of money, time and effort that goes into all the crops for all the farmers around the country – not to mention the world.

But I do know one thing. They all have that village, and that village is there to help them succeed in each and every way possible.

I can only hope that the rest of the world has villages as good and helpful as the ones I have seen here in Central Texas that have become extended family for me for the past 20 cotton harvests I have witnessed.