Happy New Year! I’m glad it’s 2015. Good riddance to 2014 which is now toast – adios – history - kaput.
With hopefully a bright New Year to nip at our toes, top on my list of resolutions this new year is losing weight – always by far the top goal on many people’s New Year’s wish list. It’s time to dust off the bike seat, top off the air in the tires, and get cycling.
Speaking of ‘losing’ something, I expect the inevitable from Uncle Sam – taking more of our hard-earned money to pay more government programs in 2015. And as usual, government will likely provide us less in return. This seems to be the new un-American anomaly.
Perhaps bent knees and folded hands this year should start now with prayers for more rain and snow this year in California and Arizona to replenish aquifers and provide desperately needed surface water to grow food and fiber.
Perhaps the rain might be not as forceful as the early December storms, but then again – ‘beggars cannot be choosers.’ We’d better take what we can get in the ‘liquid gold’ department in the West.
My hope is for our elected leaders in Washington, DC to pass and sign into law meaningful immigration reform for agriculture, as the President’s immigration action last month probably hurt farm labor availability more than it helped.
Looking at crops, many farmers producing a wide variety of crops continue to feel the drought’s dry wrath and painful sting. Among the commodities in need of better fortunes this year is King Cotton. ‘Older timers’ remember that it was cotton which largely created today’s farming infrastructure in the West and other U.S. farming regions.
China has a large bull’s eye target painted on cotton fields across the U.S. and a seemingly endless supply of darts - largely targeted to apply more pressure on the U.S. cotton industry to exit the business. U.S. cotton growers desperately need higher lint prices, increased fiber demand, and new markets to survive.
China, the mammoth gorilla in the room, holds more 60 million stockpiled cotton bales which have placed intense pressure on growers and industries in competing countries.
And turning to what Western Farm Press has in its pocket for 2015, our editors this year will launch a new online and print series called “Giants in Western Agriculture.” These articles will showcase agricultural folks across California and Arizona who have made tremendous strides in agriculture.
Your Farm Press editors already have some folks already in mind to feature. We also want your ideas on people who have made major contributions to agriculture whether in a specific crop area or agriculture as a whole.
Happy New Year! May you find success in your 2015 farming endeavors.