Weather Spurs High Plains Planting Activity

Friday, May13, 2005                                 By Shawn Wade

      The past weekbrought a welcome flood of activity to High Plains cotton fields as producers,many of whom would have preferred to start planting the previous week, raced totake advantage of the return to warm, sunny days.

      That activity haspushed planting progress to between 10 and 15 percent of the regions projected3.6 million cotton acres. Virtually all the 2005 crop planted to date has beenon irrigated cotton acreage.

      With scatteredthunderstorms forecast for the entire week and through the weekend producershave adopted a sense of urgency about getting seed in the ground. At least partof that urgency is due with the fact they have a lot of ground to cover and arelatively short timeframe to work with because of looming federal cropinsurance planting dates.

      Final plantingdates for High Plains counties range from May 31 in northern counties to June 5and 10 in central and southern counties, respectively.

      Those feelingsseem to be well founded following an afternoon and evening of heavythunderstorms May 12. The storms were concentrated in the northeastern quarterof the High Plains in Briscoe, Crosby, Floyd, Hale and Lubbock counties.

      From a cropstandpoint the rains brought by yesterdayÕs storms were generally beneficial,despite some occurrences of locally heavy rains and numerous tornados and hailthat caused some property damage.

      With continuedfavorable weather over the next few weeks planting progress is expected toadvance rapidly, especially in irrigated areas. With most dryland producersstill in need of planting moisture, significant progress in non-irrigated areaswill be slower to develop in the absence of rainfall until the calendar forcesplanters into the field.

      Altogether 2005planting progress is not far off what would be considered more or less normalat this time year, even though weather conditions the past few years haveallowed growers to get accustomed to slightly earlier starts to the plantingseason.

      The feeling ofbeing somewhat behind, combined with recent weather patterns, is contributingto the urgency of growers in 2005. This situation will also insure rapidprogress is made every day through the end of the planting window.

 

NASS Releases Final 2004 Crop Estimate;
Working To Finalize 2004 County Production

Friday, May13, 2005                                 By Shawn Wade

      This weekÕs release of the2004 Cotton Ginnings Annual Report and the last district level 2004-cropproduction estimate from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)offers an insightful first glimpse into the composition of a record-setting2004 crop.

      With state and national levelNASS personnel tracking down and pinpointing the county of origin of the lastof the 2004 crop, Plains Cotton Growers officials are encouraging anyonecontacted by NASS to assist them in every possible way.

      Without doubt the final tallyfor many Texas counties will be the highest ever recorded. Assisting the peoplewho are responsible for verifying the accuracy of those records is key toinsuring every county gets full credit for the cotton produced within itsborders in 2004.

      This weekÕs Crop ProductionReport, which contained the last district level production estimate beforefinal county numbers are released, gives an indication of just how big some ofthe totals will be.

      Totaling the May 12 estimatefor production in Texas Crop Reporting Districts 1-N and 1-S indicates the HighPlains region will be credited for producing at least 4.73 million bales ofUpland cotton in 2004. That total could climb slightly as NASS works to verifyand assign cotton production at the county level.

      At the state level, Texas isestimated to have produced some 7.74 million bales of cotton in 2004. Thisfigure will easily set a new all-time record production level and is animpressive 3.41 million bales more than the 4.33 million bales the stateproduced in 2003. The previous state record of 6 million bales was establishedduring the 1949 growing season.

      Another good indicator of howthe county production figures will turn out is the final 2004-crop CottonGinnings Report, also released May 12. The primary contents of that report arecounty level ginning totals including, to the greatest extent possible, identificationof how many running bales of cotton were produced in each county.

      Highlights of the reportinclude six High Plains counties (5-Hale, 6-Lubbock, 7-Lamb, 8-Gaines, 9-Lynn,and 10-Terry) ranked in the top ten, nationally based on current estimates ofcotton running bales produced. The top four counties in this ranking includethree in California (Fresno, Kings and Kern) and Mississippi County Arkansas.These figures reflect the All Cotton production total attributed to each countyand do not differentiate between Pima and Upland cotton.

      High Plains counties listedamong the top ten in total number of running bales ginned are: Lubbock(579,800), Hockley (469,700), Hale (457,150), Gaines (411,600), and Lamb (371,500).

      Based on the figures publishedin the May 12 Cotton Ginnings report, the 4.73 million-bale production estimatefor the PCG 41-county area appears to right on target.

      Among the impressive runningbale production figures reported for High Plains counties were: Hale County,385,800; Lubbock, 357,650; Lamb, 331,950; Gaines, 326,400; Lynn, 323,800;Terry, 321,350; Crosby, 302,600; Hockley, 276,400; Dawson, 271,400; and Floyd,256,100.

      A table showing the data reportedfor counties in PCGÕs 41-county service area is included below.

 

All Cotton Running Bales Ginned(Excluding Linters),

in PCG's 41-County Area, CropYear 2004

Equivalent 480-Pound Bales Ginned,and Running Bales Produced

 

County and State

Running Bales

Ginned

Equiv. 480-lb Bales Ginned

Running Bales Produced

Andrews

0

0

18,700

Bailey

110,550

113,800

89,550

Borden

*

*

40,950

Briscoe

*

*

22,050

Carson

*

*

15,550

Castro

77,300

79,100

106,750

Cochran

*

*

148,050

Crosby

299,200

308,450

302,600

Dawson

237,950

246,350

271,400

Deaf Smith

*

*

21,950

Dickens

*

*

16,950

Floyd

240,100

266,150

256,100

Gaines

411,600

418,650

326,400

Garza

*

*

44,650

Hale

457,150

469,350

385,800

Hockley

469,700

482,800

276,400

Howard

82,200

83,950

75,550

Lamb

371,500

382,500

331,950

Lubbock

579,800

592,100

357,650

Lynn

303,700

309,750

323,800

Martin

140,650

144,450

96,900

Midland

*

*

21,300

Moore

0

0

2,450

Motley

*

*

25,350

Parmer

104,200

107,150

120,200

Potter

0

0

*

Randall

0

0

3,350

Swisher

73,400

75,600

86,850

Terry

285,300

293,900

321,350

Yoakum

139,100

143,050

133,800

Texas

7,618,050

7,844,900

7,549,450

* Not published, butincluded in State total, to avoid disclosing individual gins/producersinformation.

 

Source: National Agricultural StatisticsService, Cotton Ginnings Annual Report, released May 12, 2005

 

Stenholm Appreciation Dinner Scheduled
For May 21 in Stamford

Friday, May13, 2005                                 ByRoger Haldenby

      An appreciation dinner forCharlie and Cindy Stenholm will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 6:30 pm.

      The event will be held at theTexas Cowboy Reunion Pavilion in Stamford, Texas.

      This is not a fund-raiserevent. It is an expression of appreciation for former Congressman Stenholm'syears of service to cotton, community and country.

      Proceeds from the dinner willbenefit the Stenholm Library Fund. Tickets are $20.00 per person and areavailable by calling 325-773-3757 or writing to: Stenholm Library Fund, PO Box828, Stamford, Texas 79553. Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelopewith all written ticket requests.

      Everyone is encouraged toattend this special occasion to show appreciation for the twenty-six years ofservice Charlie and Cindy gave to the citizens of West Texas.