NC Cotton Producer

What a difference a year made for Alan Hudson in Falcon, NC. Hudson is a fourth generation cotton farmer in Cumberland County is certainly dedicated to the crop. Hudson explains that to stay in cotton production since the 1930’s, the family had to make some adjustments:

“We owned a cotton gin as well back before the boll weevil came in the early 70s. All the cotton gins were closing down because of that. That’s how we got into the ginning business, since they were all gone we had to have one to stay in cotton.”

Hudson says this year’s yields barely compare to those of 2011:

“Yields are averaging from 1000-1200 pounds per acre. Last year we had a very dry year and the cotton didn’t do well at all averaging 250 pounds per acre.”
And it’s all in the rain according to Hudson:

“We had rains throughout the middle of the season especially in July and August we had some timely rains that really made a difference.”

Hudson explains that he planted about 80% of his crop in the tried-and-true variety of years past, and put about 20% of his acreage into a Liberty Link system:

“We tried a new Liberty Link variety this year. It did very well and out-yielded our stand by. That cotton was planted a little bit north of my growing area and they had just a little better rains. But there is something in the variety as well, we will do some more of that next year.”

As far as rotation, Hudson doesn’t plant any winter crops, so he’s on a three-year rotation with tobacco, and now sorghum:

“We rotate tobacco every three years, and plant the tobacco behind cotton and then grain sorghum right after the tobacco.”

While grain sorghum has been sold to producers as a solution to many different problems, one that’s been added is nematode control, and Hudson says that’s been his primary goal:

“This was the first year it’s been in our complete rotation and it will be from here forward for nematode control. Since sorghum is not a host, unlike cotton and tobacco, it breaks down the cycle.”

All in all, Hudson is pleased with this year’s 2-bale average cotton harvest:

“We have had a very good harvest season, we haven’t had much rain so we have been able to get the crop out. It’s also grading well.”

Cumberland County’s Alan Hudson of Hudson Farms near Falcon. For more on our harvest series, click here is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.