In Press: AAEC’s Hudson details South Plains shift from fiber to food
By: Norman Martin
Recently, Darren Hudson, a professor within Texas Tech's Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics, was featured in a timely agricultural economics news item by Patricia Perry with KCBD Television in Lubbock. Here's part of the takeaway.
Recent rainfall has made the question of grain or cotton more difficult for South Plains producers, as some producers are making the switch from fiber to food this season. The concerns of rain and input cost have many producers looking the other way. As a result, some have decided to switch to grain crops.
“When producers were thinking about decisions, the grain prices looked a lot more lucrative in the sense of profitability,” Darren Hudson, the Larry Combest Endowed Chair for Agricultural Competitiveness at Texas Tech. Grain prices are now hovering at the higher end between $6 and $7 a bushel, which includes sorghum, wheat and corn.
In addition to more profit, Hudson said grain crops typically have a lower input cost. “You put those two things together and it really caused farmers to second guess how many acres they were going to plant,” Hudson said.
But on the South Plains, fewer cotton acres means fewer jobs. “Because they are significant employment drivers for the region, that tends to filter out to the rest of the economy,” Hudson said. “When you have fewer cotton acres you need fewer truck drivers, fewer gin workers, things like that.”
In mid-May, Hudson took on additional administrative duties at Texas Tech with his appointment as Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources' Interim Associate Dean for Research. In his interim role, he'll provide leadership for and oversight of research and innovation for the college. Hudson's research interests broadly include agricultural policy and trade, economic development, marketing and consumer demand, and behavioral economics.
CONTACT: Darren Hudson, Professor, Larry Combest Endowed Chair for Agricultural Competitiveness and Director of International Center for Agricultural Competitiveness, Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-0546 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Editor: Norman Martin
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