Cotton Production & Management
In recent years, cotton production in New Mexico has been declining. Challenges facing cotton producers in New Mexico include high costs of production inputs and fluctuating lint prices. The area planted to upland cotton in New Mexico fell from 43,000 acres to 31,000 acres between 2007 and 2009. From recent analysis, it has become very difficult to make a decent profit from conventional cotton production. Alternative cotton production systems, such as precision and organic cotton, are proving to be more economically viable for New Mexico farmers.
There has been an increasing interest in other cotton products such as the cotton seed oil as a potential raw material for biofuel diesel; gin trash as a raw material for erosion control mats; and glandless cotton seeds as protein source for human consumption. The edible seeds of glandless cotton can serve as a suitable replacement for peanuts due to its allergy-free characteristics. These value added products of cotton could potentially generate higher income for farmers and increase the competitiveness of cotton crop in New Mexico.
Spider mites are common in south-central New Mexico to cotton crops. This link will provide more information on what spider mites are and how they damage the crop, and how to eradicate spider mites if cotton crops are infested.
In order to promote cotton production in New Mexico, a Cotton Newsletter publication was initiated in April 2010. This newsletter is a follow-up to the Cotton Task Force Meeting that took place in August 2009, to address the declining production of Cotton in New Mexico. This publication is tri-annual, and is sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Service of the New Mexico State University (NMSU) and the New Mexico Cotton Growers Association. The Cotton Newsletter is targeted towards providing current production information for cotton growers, educators and other stakeholders in cotton industry.
Each edition of the Cotton Newsletter can be downloaded from this site.