The Wichita Eagle
Published January 13, 2015
Cotton farmers are in dire need of economic assistance in Kansas. If cotton production leaves our state and local communities, the infrastructure of cotton gins, warehouses and associated businesses will go with it, and history tells us it will not return. The loss of cotton production means fewer workers have jobs; local businesses suffer with reduced sales of fuel, tires, fertilizer, seed and other inputs; and transportation companies must scale back because of reduced volume.
The 2014 farm bill gives the secretary of agriculture the authority to designate “other oilseed” that can be included in commodity programs. The cotton industry has asked that Secretary Tom Vilsack place that designation on cottonseed. Cottonseed is a valuable product generating significant revenue by farmers.
I urge Vilsack to answer the call of 100 members of Congress, 19 senators and numerous national agriculture and lending associations, as well 376 lenders from across the country who have all written to him in support of this proposal, and to designate cottonseed as an “other oilseed.” Farmers are optimistic people, and I am optimistic that the secretary will use his authority to help stabilize our industry.
Kent L. Goyen, Pratt
President, Kansas Cotton Association