E. Idaho growers visit Texas cotton farms

Idaho farmers Scott Brown, Justin Place, Cory Kress, Sedar Beckamn, Lucas Spratling and Clark Kauffman participated in the Multi-Commodity Education Program near Lubbock, Texas the week of Nov. 12.

Six eastern Idaho farmers visited Lubbock, Texas, during the week of Nov. 12, for the Multi Commodity Education Program put on by the National Cotton Council.

The six farmers included Scott Brown of Soda Springs, Justin Place of Hamer, Sedar Beckman from Idaho Falls, Lucas Spratling of Declo and Clark Kauffman from Filer.

According to Place, the purpose of the visit was to learn about cotton production in Texas, and to promote the knowledge of various farming techniques.

“Every other year, the National Cotton Council takes place,” Place said. “In 2016, cotton farmers from Texas, representing Southern tier farming, visited us in eastern Idaho to learn about Northern tier farming. So this year we had the opportunity to go down to Lubbock and learn about Southern tier farming.”

Similarly, Place said that understanding the two farming techniques will help create common ground amongst farmers nationwide. In doing so, they hope it will lead to more efficient lobbying.

“They are doing some innovative things down there,” Place said.

Such innovative techniques Place explained included planting 15 inch rows of cotton, rather that 30-inch rows to help conserve water, and implementing a Low Elevation Spray Application (LESA), also to help conserve water.

“They are watering at 18 to 24 inches off the ground to help with wind drift,” he said.

Place indicated that they are implementing a similar technique in Hamer, but it needs to be “tweaked” considering they are farming in areas that are less flat than the land being farmed in Texas.

Overall, they have a similar goal; to conserve water.

“What can we do to conserve water, to not pump the aquifer dry?” Place said.

He said the purpose of the council is to put together future leaders in agriculture.

“It’s an investment for the future,” he said.