Delta cotton grower balances challenges with a good crop, market

Halfway through harvest, a Delta cotton grower is grateful for a good crop and a good market, but wary of logistical challenges. Kirk Antici is standing in a mature field of cotton scanning the horizon for his two harvesters to arrive and pick what he says looks like a great crop, despite some hiccups during the season.

“We had a great start [to the season],” Antici told Brownfield Ag News. “We got quite a bit of rainfall in June, not long after the cotton came up. It was a struggle; we got 12 to 14 inches of rain, then it was one of the most challenging years we’ve faced in a long time from pests.”

The weather turned against him one more time before the growing season ended. “We were faced with some less than fortunate temperatures later on in the year when the cotton was trying to finish up,” he said, “some gloomy weather with some rain and lower temps.”

Antici, whose irrigated cotton acres are a few miles north of Clarksdale, in northwestern Mississippi, tells Brownfield he loses sleep lately simply from logistical challenges. “Equipment. Parts. With everything that’s going on the world today, there’s a shortage of parts,” said Antici. “When we have a breakdown, we’re running all over the place just to find a simple part for all this equipment.”

Similar circumstances, he said, have also resulted in higher input costs. “Obviously parts, diesel fuel and everything has gone up substantially this year.”

In spite of those issues, Antici is quick to point out that he’s pleased about a market of “dollar-plus cotton, which we have not seen in some time,” he concludes, “so it’s not all bad.”

AUDIO: Kirk Antici
AUDIO: Brownfield story with Kirk Antici

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