Briggeman West Farm wins top cotton producing award

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Stuart and Teri Briggeman farm thousands of acres in northwestern Pratt County, with more than 3,200 planted to cotton this year. Briggeman West Farm recently won an award for their 2020 cotton crop from BASF.

Despite recent rains, Stuart Briggeman has more than 3,200 acres of cotton already planted this year north and west of Cullison. Along with his wife, Teri, this Pratt County farmer earned top awards from BASF's Stoneville Legacy Club for excellent cotton production in the year just past.

More from Stuart Briggeman on cotton:https://vimeo.com/359656552?1&ref=fb-share&fbclid=IwAR1798BoR2jx8XqzAXGHQlugawoeY5K52Bnrtc

"We just finished planting at the end of May," Briggeman said. "I've been putting in cotton since 1999 and it's always done real well for us."

Forty cotton growers, like Briggeman of Briggeman West Farms, earned membership to the Legacy Club with BASF and were honored for harvest yields in the top 10 percent of their states. The Briggemans qualified in both the irrigated and dryland divisions, harvesting 1,392 lbs/A and 772.1 lbs/A of Stoneville cotton, repectively. They also received the award for the most Stoneville cotton seed varieties planted in irrigated acres for the Southwest region.

“In a year unlike any other, our growers have truly demonstrated what it means to be ‘Stoneville Strong,’” said Rachel Walters, Cottonseed Marketing Manager at BASF. “Their resiliency and commitment to quality, combined with Stoneville’s modern germplasm, custom varieties and extensive trait choices resulted in outstanding yield performance. As always, we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with these growers and recognize their accomplishments.”

Briggeman said that while he utilizes several different varieties of cotton seed, the Stoneville classes have always done well, on both types of soil that he farms - heavy and sandy.

"We are going with the same Stoneville varieties again this year because we know they will work," he said. "There are always new types under development and we put out a test plot each year with three or four new varieties to see what they might do, but we keep the majority of our acres planted with something that is proven to do well for our bottom line."

Briggeman said chosing when and where to plant, and then factoring in moisture banks for irrigation or dryland fields, was an ongoing decision-making process.

"The heavier soils retain more mosture in their soil profile," he said. "When we go to the sandy soil fields we are more dependent on Mother Nature providing moisture when we need it, and sometimes that works out, other times not."

Briggeman said that the steady rains in late May this spring were a boone to his farm plan, as he had most of his 3,200 cotton acres already planted.

"That was a million-dollar rain," he said. "It was a soaker, not a runner, and it was very good for our fields in the northwestern part of the county. We were fortunate not to have as much rain as in Pratt, just a few miles away. Got just the right amount for what we needed."

Briggeman said that irrigation on his farmground north and west of Culison did not fall under recent and continued federal scrutinization of groundwater use from the Rattelsnake Basin.

"Non of our water comes or goes from that aquifer," he said. "Our land is above the Ninnescah Basin. We have a crop consultant who helps us plan our water schedule where irrigation is concerned."

Briggeman is in a 6-way partnership with other Kansas cotton farmers who worked together to build the NextGineration Cotton Mill at Cullison, where he takes all of his harvested cotton for processing in November and December. He is part of a video created by American Ag Credit that highlights his cotton production and the processing facility.