Cotton Comeback in Louisiana
May 22, 2017
Story provided by This Week in Louisiana Agriculture
Nearly a decade cotton was dethroned as Louisiana’s top commodity. Today, the trend is turning around as farmers plant more of the cash crop. In Richland Parish, Louisiana they are working to rebuild the “white-gold” capitol of the south.
In Rayville, Louisiana the Mills family is hard at work fertilizing their cotton. Kyle mills has been farming for more than fifty years. He’s grown cotton for most of those years, but he moved to grain when the market broke records 10 years ago.
In two years, the farm has gone from zero acres of cotton to nearly five thousand. Now that cotton has come back, the Mills family has about 4,700 acres of cotton planted. The large amount of acres of cotton being planted looks great for the cotton industry.
However, the infrastructure that the cotton industry depends on has been suffering. In 2000, cotton had other gins available to go to. That year, Louisiana had 56 gins to handle more than 800,000 acres of cotton. Today, only 18 gins remain for around 200,000 acres of cotton.