Cotton is king in the Lone Star State
Texas has the bragging rights of harvesting the first bale of cotton in the U.S. every year. The Lone Star State is able to do so because the climate in the Rio Grande Valley is perfect for early planting.
When most farmers across the country are just getting the fields ready, in southwest Texas the cotton seed is already going into the ground.
“Cotton is a staple crop for this farm. It’s one that’s actually kept this farm afloat for many years so we can continue to form year in and year out,” farmer Sam Sparks said.
Texas leads the nation in cotton production each year. In 2018, there were some 15.5 million bales harvested. Sparks says that there are a lot of reasons cotton is part of the economic fabric of this region.
It is not just the Rio Grande Valley that grows the crop. There are more than 5 million acres of cotton grown statewide.
Cotton is popular because it is turned into everything from paper money to clothes and also some home furnishings. Its versatility and durability ensure that it will continue to be at top crop in Texas for generations to come.