San Patricio County was the most productive county in Texas in 2019, collecting 271,000 bales of upland cotton, followed by Nueces County, which harvested 269,100 bales. Hockley County, in the Southern High Plains area, finished third with 248,500 bales produced. The remaining top five counties are all in South Texas. Webb County collected 235,200 bales of cotton, Val Verde County had 233,400 bales, Jim Wells County had 220,900 bales, and Willacy County had 218,700 bales.
Out of state buyers account for nearly half of San Patricio County's cotton production. In fact, almost one out of every three pounds of cotton grown in Texas is exported. States where most Texas cotton is sold include California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Most Texas cotton is shipped through Houston as part of bulk shipments called cargoes. In addition to exporting cotton, Texas also imports cotton products such as yarn and fabric from other countries. In 2019, the state imported $20 million worth of cotton products.
San Patricio County is part of the Corpus Christi metropolitan area. It is located on the coast about 90 miles southeast of Dallas/Fort Worth. This region has become a major producer of cotton due to improved farming techniques and favorable weather conditions.
The state produced 564,429 bales in 1850 and 989,955 bales by 1860, according to the 1850 Census. Cotton plantation owners rotated their cotton crop across many fields, allowing some to lay fallow and restore soil nutrients. In the Deep South, this practice was called "cotton farming."
Cotton was used to make everything from cloth to food to fuel. It was even used as money early on. The word "currency" comes from the Latin word for cotton: semis.
In addition to being used for clothing, paper, and fuel, cotton can be processed into oil or ginseng (used for making alcohol). And since cotton is a natural fiber, it's biodegradable if dumped in a landfill.
In conclusion, Alabama produced about 5 million bales of cotton in 1850. This amount increased to about 10 million bales by 1860.
In terms of output, Zavala County in South Texas led the state with an average yield of 1,602 pounds per acre of upland cotton. Uvalde County in the Edwards Plateau region came in second with 1,518 pounds per acre, followed by Medina County in South Central Texas, which came in third with 1,489 pounds per acre.
In terms of quality, South Texas had the highest-quality fiber at an average grade of 21st out of the 25 counties surveyed. This was followed by Eddy County in New Mexico and Donley County in Alabama with 20th-grade fiber. No Texas county fell below 18th-grade quality.
The most common pest that affects cotton plants is the boll weevil. This insect feeds on the leaves and stems of the plant and creates these brownish-black spots about 1/4 inch in diameter. If left untreated, it will kill the plant. The weevil can be controlled by spraying the plants with a pesticide that matches the label instructions. Pesticides are often recommended for use when cotton plants are blooming or just before they begin to set fruit. They should not be applied during hot, sunny days when insects are likely to be active and moving around. This means planting a different type of crop in between rows of cotton every other year. This will force any pests that may be eating the cotton to move onto the safer option of the trap crop.