Helping cotton make a comeback


Kenneth Hood will be making his 54th crop this spring. Hood, whose cotton acreage was drastically reduced by weather problems last year, is hopeful cotton can begin making a comeback in the Mid-South.

Hood, former chairman of the National Cotton Council and a leader in the cotton industry, is convinced that will take more than high prices as he explained in this video from his remarks at the High Cotton Awards breakfast at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans.

The High Cotton Awards, which are presented by Farm Press Publications and Penton Inc., through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, are now in their 20th year. The program is aimed at recognizing the stewardship efforts of cotton farmers throughout the four regions of the Cotton Belt.

Hood, who farms with his brothers, Howard, Curtis and Cary on 12,000 acres in northwest Mississippi, said he has witnessed many changes in his 53 years of farming.

“My middle name ought to be cotton,” said Hood, who served as chairman of the Mississippi Boll Weevil Eradication Committee back in the early days of the program. “And I can’t believe I have lived long enough to see the demise of the cotton industry in the Mississippi Delta because that’s where the Delta was made – with cotton.

“Thank these sponsors of the High Cotton awards for their efforts. The only way we will get back into the cotton business like we once were is through increased yields. Prices, insects, weather we cannot control, but through the technology and those things that increase yields, hopefully we can get back into the cotton business.”

In the last 15 years, Hood has spent a considerable amount time on precision farming. “Looking into the future, I think we want to go into precision data management so that we can be more environmentally friendly and do those things that we’re supposed to do so these grandchildren will have a place to live, good food and be environmentally safe.”

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