ToEveryone In The

HighPlains Cotton Industry:


AndMay You Enjoy A

Prosperousand Happy New Year !!


Harvest Activity DerailedBy Arctic Blast

LUBBOCK, December 24,2004                By Shawn Wade

     With yet another round of wintry cold, and a fresh layer of snow blanketing theHigh Plains, the 2004 harvest train has been sidetracked once again.

     The sudden change in the weather is a less than welcome change for producerswho have been struggling to get the crop into the relative protection ofmodules.

     Over the past two weeks, area cotton fields have quickly begun to look likethey are supposed to at this time of year. The area is probably still a littleshy of the 75 percent harvested mark. If that is the case, Christmas 2004 willpass with as many as a million bales of cotton still on the stalk.

     With High Plains production expected to top 4.5 million bales, many area ginsstill have 60 or more days of “around the clock” work ahead of them, just withthe cotton that has been harvested to date. Once the balance of the crop isstripped some area gins could see their ginning season extended even further.

     The area as a whole is far from uniform in terms of how much cotton has beenharvested and how close to finished gins may be. Some gins in the northwesternportion of the High Plains are expected to be finished by mid-January whilegins in other areas are expecting to have the longest runs in their history andmay not finish until March.

     Getting a handle on where the crop stands is far from easy. Right now Lubbockand Lamesa USDA Cotton Classing office records indicate 1.9 million runningbales have been classed and 100,000 bales or so are in the pipeline as ofDecember 24.

     Based on these figures, somewhere around 45 percent of the 2004 crop should beginned as of December 24. If accurate, it means some 1.5 million bales are inmodules and supports an estimate of around 1 million bales still unharvested.

     Gins most likely to have long runs are those that serve a broad area with ahigh number of dryland acres as well as a solid base of irrigated cotton.

     For many on the High Plains the “White Christmas” they’ve worked for in 2004 isonce again in jeopardy. This time however, the delay is being caused by the“White Christmas” of children’s wishes and holiday lore.

     For now, the top items on most cotton folks’ Christmas Wish List areundoubtedly blue skies, warm days and the end of the 2004 harvest season.


TCE Offers 2005 MarketingShort Courses

LUBBOCK, December 24,2004                By Shawn Wade

     The 2005 Texas Cooperative Extension Advanced Topic Series short-courseschedule has been finalized. Producers interested in participating in any ofthe 1 and 2-day courses are encouraged to contact their county Extension officeor the regional Texas A&M University System Research and Extension Centersin their area.

     The ATS short-courses are designed to sharpen marketing skills throughindividual and group simulation exercises led by top marketing instructors fromacross the country.

     The ATS series is designed to help producers with a solid understanding ofmarkets and the tools used to interpret market activity get even more out oftheir efforts.

     Each course requires a registration fee of $75 for the one-day courses and $125for the two-day course. The following schedule shows courses offered at theAmarillo, Lubbock and San Angelo TAMUS Research and Extension Centers.






Marketing Plans:

Feed Grains

Steve Amosson, Amarillo

Feb. 8

Advanced Options: Cotton

Jackie Smith, Lubbock

Feb. 15

Pulling the Trigger

Steve Amosson, Amarillo

March 8

Advanced Options: Cotton

Jackie Smith, Lubbock

March 8

Marketing Plan: Cotton

Jason Johnson, San Angelo

March 15

Marketing Plan: Cotton

Steve Amosson, Amarillo


2005 Beltwide CottonConferences Slated for January 4-8 in the Big Easy

LUBBOCK, December 24,2004                By Shawn Wade

     With harvest activity still ongoing, High Plains representation at the 2005Beltwide Cotton Conferences could be short on producers and ginners.

     The 2005 Beltwide Cotton Conferences are being held in New Orleans, Louisiana,January 4-7. On-site registration begins January 4 and the first GeneralSession begins January 5.

     This year’s Beltwide has a slightly different format that past participantsshould find helpful and is designed to allow more participation by producers inthe technical side of the event. Instead of the usual two-day productionconference, followed by a two-day technical conference, this year’s formatshortens each to 1 and one-half days.

     On tap is the annual market forecast from Beltwide regulars like William B.Dunavant, Jr., updates on critical cotton trade and legislative issues and achance to hear about the latest in cotton production and processing technology.

     For more information about the 2005 Conference go the NCC’s Beltwide website ( You will findthe latest information and obtain hotel contact information. Registrations willbe handled on-site beginning January 4, 2005.