Kent Goyen

(Kyle Bauer) Hi, this is Kyle Bauer. I have the opportunity to visit with Kent Goyen. Kent is the president of the Kansas Cotton Association. Kent, cotton is relatively new to the state of Kansas, but you’ve got a few years under your belt, can you tell us about the ebbs and flows of cotton in Kansas? (Kent Goyen) We’ve been planting cotton in Kansas for about 20 years now. First started out, it was the regular conventional cotton; we didn’t have Roundup Ready genes like we do right now. It was a learning process that was very interesting to learn about, and still an interesting plant, and it’s an interesting process. But the Roundup Ready has helped us, we’re getting in trouble now with the Roundup resistant weeds, and so we’re looking for new technologies to where we can control weeds, and it’s a challenge. (Kyle) Can you give us..,you measure cotton in bales, what was our peak in production and where are we at now? (Kent) A cotton bale weighs 500 pounds. We have peaked at probably at a million point one bales in Kansas. Our numbers have gone down as far as acreage-wise, but we’ve actually kept pretty good pace with the yields because of the new technologies and things. It’s going back up. We’ve probably had about 20% increase in acquisition over last year and we’re looking for even more for next year. (Kyle) Why did that ebb and flow occur? (Kent) A lot of it was the price of corn. When the corn was up 6-7-8 dollars, it was more profitable to plant corn. Now that corn’s not as profitable, it’s more profitable to plant cotton. Cotton is probably the only thing that I can plant a lot on my farm anyway that works going to make a profit. (Kyle) The price of cotton compared to the price of everything else has stayed fairly strong. (Kent) We’re in pretty good shape actually. The price of cotton now is about 67 cents a pound. We market through a cooperative out of Lubbock, Texas, and it’s quite successful, and we’re very happy with that. (Kyle) Cotton grows to be tall, but it’s pretty frugal when it comes to water. (Kent) It uses about half the water that corn does, and so we look at this as an alternative crop for irrigation and water conservation, and we hope it fits into a lot of programs. The main issue with a lot of it is the harvesting, but they’ve got new harvesters that have come out now. The baler strippers have now come out, and so it cuts down on the manpower of harvesting, it makes it easier; it’s better for everybody, the gin, and the farmer, and custom harvester if you want to. (Kyle) Truly, though, you don’t have to buy that equipment. There are custom cutters– custom harvesters, if you will that will come in and do it for you. (Kent) That’s right. A lot of people can’t afford that kind of equipment because it’s a fairly expensive piece of equipment, and it doesn’t hurt the young, actually, you form another business in that community when you do that and support some other business. You actually increase the business in your community. (Kyle) We’re visiting with Kent Goyen. He’s the president of the Kansas Cotton Association. This is Kyle Bauer reporting, back to you Jamie.

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