On Wednesday, Congressman August Pfluger (TX-11) joined two of his West Texas colleagues, Representative Ronny Jackson (TX-13) and Representative Jodey Arrington (TX-19) in sending a letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership in support of Texas’ cotton industry.
Specifically, the letter calls for funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Emergency Relief Program (ERP) for the 2022 crop year and to provide adequate assistance for cotton infrastructure – especially cotton gins – to help mitigate the devastating production losses farmers and ranchers have experienced this past year.
Congressman Pfluger: “Texas’ agriculture producers, and the programs that allow them to continue to operate, are critical to National Security. Our farmers and ranchers have suffered through several tough years. Without an extension of the Emergency Relief Program (ERP), this year’s losses will be devastating to our communities that support and depend on agriculture. Congress must provide this relief immediately.”
Congressman Jackson: “Texas’ cotton farmers help clothe the world, making their operations critical to the state and global economy. Texas is the largest cotton-producing state in the country with the High Plains region alone accounting for 65% of production. The devastating drought we experienced this year is a serious threat to everything our cotton farmers have built, and it is not something Congress can ignore. The cotton industry is critical to the success and vibrancy of the communities I represent in TX-13. I am proud to lead my colleagues in this effort to help ensure Texas’ cotton farmers have the resources they need to be successful for future generations and that cotton gins can weather the devastating effects of this year’s drought.”
Congressman Arrington: “Agriculture is the lifeblood of rural economies like West Texas, and all Americans benefit from a safe, affordable, and abundant source of food. Unfortunately, producers across the nation have experienced unprecedented challenges this year — from historic drought conditions to record input costs, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages. Congress must maintain a reliable and stable food supply to ensure food security for all Americans.”
Plains Cotton Growers Inc. CEO Kody Bessent: “Plains Cotton Growers Inc. fully supports the request for an extension of the Emergency Relief Program funding for the 2022 crop year. In addition, we support that adequate assistance be allocated to cotton infrastructure segments to help mitigate the economic challenges they continue to face. Texas has been plagued by one of the most catastrophic droughts on record in 2022, which has had a detrimental effect on our cotton producers and infrastructure segments, particularly cotton gins. PCG fully supports and appreciates the bipartisan effort led by Representatives Ronny Jackson, Jodey Arrington and August Pfluger, along with additional House and Senate members, acknowledging the challenges faced by the cotton industry. We look forward to working with Congress to ensure these key initiatives are addressed in the upcoming omni legislative package.”
Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening: “Texas Farm Bureau appreciates Congressmen Ronny Jackson, Jodey Arrington and August Pfluger for leading a bipartisan letter to key appropriators requesting disaster funding be extended through the 2022 crop year. We are also glad the letter addresses the needs of cotton gins that have faced economic challenges due to staggering crop losses this year. We urge the inclusion of these provisions in the FY2023 appropriations package and look forward to continuing to work toward solutions that will keep farmers and ranchers in operation.”
- Cotton is the leading cash crop in Texas. Texas ranks first in U.S. cotton production.
- Cotton generates $1.6 billion for farmers, with a state-wide economic impact of $5.2 billion.
- Cotton is grown on five million acres in six different regions, each with different production systems and variations in climate, soil type, rainfall and irrigation, and harvesting techniques.