In Texas, we take pride in doing things on a grand scale. When it comes to cotton production, I am proud Lone Star State cotton producers make a Texas-sized contribution to the world, growing nearly a tenth of all the world’s cotton right here in Texas.
In fact, Texas is the leading cotton producer in the U.S., growing almost half the nation’s cotton supply last year and more than one-third of the nation’s output in 2008. We produce so much cotton that if you lined up all the cotton bales we produced the last 10 years end-to-end, they would circle the earth two-and-a-half times!
This year alone, Texas cotton growers will harvest about 5 million bales from nearly 5 million acres of cotton planted. If stood side-by-side, those cotton bales would line both sides of the road from Dallas to Washington, D.C. That same amount of cotton could also make 4.3 billion shirts or 15 billion diapers.
Cotton byproducts also are used to make a variety of items other than fabrics and textiles. For example, cotton oil is used to make soap while cottonseeds are used to make fertilizer.
In Texas, we grow cotton in six different regions across the state, each with its own climate, soil type, rainfall and harvesting techniques, according to the AgriLife Extension Service.
Texas remains important to the world as a producer of cotton. From blue jeans and fuzzy socks to luxurious soaps and lush lawns, there is a good chance many products we use everyday were made or enhanced using cotton grown right here in Texas.