Arizona Cottonseed Prices Reach Record Highs In 2015

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 4:29pm
Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - 9:12am
(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
Arizona Farmer Brandon Brooks holds up a seed. He bites them to test whether they crack, and if they do, the cotton is ready to harvest.

Cotton harvesting in Arizona is halfway over this year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, and farmers are getting record prices for the seed.

Cottonseed can be used to make oil, and it’s also used in dairy-cow feed. In Arizona, about 130,000 acres of cotton were planted this year, and that’s up a bit from last year’s near-record lows.

Some farmers are shifting away from cotton because of low prices for the fiber. But in 2015, average cottonseed prices in Arizona reached $320 per ton, the highest price on record.

Arizona Cotton Growers Association President Paul Ollerton says the state’s seeds are also prized for planting.

“It got to the point where they found out you could get quality cottonseed grown out of the Southwest desert. Our drier fall climates gave it better quality or more consistent quality.”

Ollerton says about a third of Arizona cotton planted is grown for seed.

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