HARTSVILLE, S.C. (WBTW) — With lower temperatures to come, farms in the Hartsville area are preparing crops for the fall season. Among them is Coker Farms.
“Coker Farms is a national historic landmark and achieved this designation as the first agricultural company to use scientific plant breeding methods and protocols to develop improved varieties of crop seeds for the American farmer,” according to the Visit Hartsville website.
A farmer at Coker explained how they prepare for the cool temperatures.
“Once the frost hits, it kills cotton. You won’t be able to get the leaves off anymore, but that’s what our main priority [is],” said James Daniel Chapman, row crop farmer. “And once we get that done, our main priority is getting it out of the field, getting it picked as fast and as hard as we can. That way, any more surprise hurricanes that may roll up or any more surprise storms don’t leave us stranded.”
The farm featured its first cotton-breeding program in the United States.
With the recent pandemic and inflation, the price of cotton has maintained its average for Coker Farms. As of December 2021, the cost was 79 cents a pound.
“Prices on everything has gone up,” said Chapman. “Commodities have not gone up as high as input costs have gone up. But, my family been here a long time. We’ve been farming a long time, so I know we can take care of it and we’ll continue to move strong.”
Self-guided interpretive exhibits are open daily to the public at the farm.