March 24th, 2011
The high price of cotton is expected to prompt more Kansas farmers to grow the crop. And it likely means gins like the one near Anthony to be busier than they've ever been this fall.
"We're expecting a big crop.”
Gary Feist is manager of the Southern Kansas Cotton Growers. The cotton cooperative is making major overhauls to the equipment at the gins near Winfield and Anthony because they're expecting more cotton will be grown in the area due to the higher price.
"It's got most of the farmers smiling with these prices. It's the best that I’ve seen since I’ve been in the ginning industry."
He says 20 farmers who haven't grown cotton have contacted the coop about making cotton one of their fall crops. For a state where cotton is still a relatively new crop that's significant.
"Yea, at these prices cotton is probably back to king again."
Cotton has increased more than four-fold from the same time last year. More than oil, gold or about any other commodity.
Dick Cooper, Business Development Director says, "we've had a convergence of low production and an increase in consumption that really happened just about overnight."
He says the lower production caught some textile mills off guard. Also countries like China and India are seeing increasing demand for cotton as their economies and middle class grow and supply hasn't kept up.
It means consumers will see higher clothing prices. Cooper explains how much jean prices could increase based on the price of cotton.
"It should mean about $2.50."
A bale of cotton has increased in value by more than 400% in the past year. The cure for high prices is high prices which means more Kansas farmers could be growing cotton along with other farmers, and that could increase the crop which eventually cause those prices to come back down.