Drought-tolerant cotton seeds aimed to help West Texas farmers - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Drought-tolerant cotton seeds aimed to help West Texas farmers

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Dale Artho Dale Artho

Cotton farmer Dale Artho is looking for a miracle that can save his crops in this drought.

Like other farmers, Artho has his concerns. "As a producer I have to produce or I'm gone."

But overall he has a positive outlook on drought-tolerant seeds. "If it helps us on our profit margin then we'll do it."

Drought-tolerant cotton is designed to provide farmers stability during periods when water supply is scarce.

But that's not the only benefit to this seed, it could also be bred to help fight certain diseases.

Right now scientists are putting it to the test before it hits the market. Which could take up to a decade.

"We're looking at the genetic traits within the individual plant and the water usage within that individual plant to try and develop plants and varieties that are more drought-tolerant," says J. D. Ragland - Texas Agrilife Extension Service.

But a little moisture is still needed for it to grow. Cotton planted in May has no guarantee it will be harvested because of the dry conditions but with drought-resistant seeds there's more reliability."

Just the reliability that Arthro says his farm and others need to succeed for many years to come.

"That's what we try to do, those things that we improve, we want to improve them for our kids and for future generations," said Artho.