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Cotton farmers set to fire up Deere pickers

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Demand for cotton is steadily gaining momentum.
Demand for cotton is steadily gaining momentum.

Steadily growing international demand for cotton has American farmers like Mike Tomasetti of Central California and his nine John Deere cotton pickers all set to provide the supply, the Associated Press reports.

The Golden State will benefit from the needs of the growing middle class in China and India as farmers in the West Coast state will sow and harvest 400,000 acres-worth of the soft fiber, according to Mark Bagby, a spokesman for marketing cooperative Calcot.

"They all called within the last 30 to 45 days and wanted to make a deal," Tomasetti said, referring to contract requests that have him preparing to harvest about 10,000 acres of cotton on his business in Kerman.

In nearby Firebaugh, Thomason Tractor went three years without selling one cotton picker, general manager Steve Malanca said. But five have sold thus far and three harvesters are on premises and waiting on repairs.

"But cotton growers across the country are excited about the high prices for cotton and the chance to have a profitable year," said Ricky Bearden, who farms about 9,000 acres of cotton near Plains, Texas and recently was elected chairman of trade association Cotton Inc.

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