Timely Rains Bring Welcome Moisture To
Portions of the Texas High Plains

Friday, July 29, 2005                                  By Shawn Wade

      It wasn't as widespread asmany would have liked, but a long line of rain showers that moved through theregion late July 26 and through the day on July 27, were just what the doctorordered for many growers.

      With rainfall amounts thatvaried from less than a half inch to over 1.5 inches, the storms moved acrossthe southern half of the region and will keep most dryland crops in Cochran, Gaines,Yoakum, Terry, Martin, Howard and Midland counties headed in the rightdirection entering the month of August.

      Irrigated growers in theseareas were glad to see the rain as well. The extra moisture will help them stayon top of the rapidly increasing water demands of their irrigated crops.

      Acreage loss for the 2005crop year continues to track below normal levels and the area is positioned tocarry a respectable number of acres into the harvest season.

      Acreage figures from USDAshow that some 3.65 million acres of cotton were planted in the Panhandle/HighPlains growing region in 2005.

      The National AgriculturalStatistics Service has scheduled the first official estimate of 2005 cottonyield and production for release August 12. USDA enumerators are in the fieldnow taking counts and gathering data. These results will provide the firstobjective view of how the crop is shaping up.

 

House Passes DR-CAFTA By 217-215 Vote;

Energy Bill Easily Clears House

Friday, July 29, 2005                                  By Shawn Wade

      House Republicans eventuallyfound just enough support to give the Bush Administration another trade arenavictory when the U.S. House of Representatives passed the DominicanRepublic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) by a close 217-215vote.

      Getting the margin forvictory wasn't easy for the Republican leadership, but the margin of approvalwas finally achieved in the early hours of July 28. The measure was approvedwith hardly any Democratic support in the end.

      High Plains RepresentativesMike Conaway (R-Dist. 11), Randy Neugebauer (R-Dist. 19) and Mac Thornberry(R-Dist. 13) voted for the agreement. Other Texas Representatives voting forDR-CAFTA were Tom DeLay (R-Dist. 22), Kevin Brady (R-Dist. 8), Ralph Hall(R-Dist. 4), Joe Barton (R-Dist. 6), Rueben Hinojosa (D-Dist. 15), HenryBonilla (R-Dist. 23), Soloman Ortiz (D-Dist. 27), Henry Cuellar (D-Dist. 28),and John Carter (R-Dist. 31).

      The U.S. cotton industryagreed to support the DR-CAFTA agreement after the Administration includedchanges that addressed industry concerns involving cotton textiles andthird-country participation.

      DR-CAFTA countries importapproximately 2.7 million bale equivalents of U.S. cotton annually. Currentlyabout 200,000 bales of cotton are exported to DR-CAFTA countries in bale form.The remainder, or 2.5 million bales, is purchased as yarn and fabricmanufactured by U.S. textile companies. This 2.7 million-bale total equalsapproximately 13 percent of average yearly U.S. production.

      The agreement is viewed as asignificant step for U.S. cotton in its effort to remain competitive. It isespecially important to domestic textile manufacturers who now have a platformfrom which they can compete with China.

Long Awaited Energy Bill Passes House of Representatives

      The House of Representativesgave final approval of the Conference Report for the Energy Policy Act of 2005,July 28 by a vote of 275-156. The Conference Report is scheduled for a Senatevote July 29.

      Once it gains Senate approvalthe legislation will head to President Bush's desk for its last stop beforebecoming law.

      Included in the Energy billare numerous tax incentives, an extension of Daylight Savings Time frommid-March through the beginning of November beginning in 2007 and policiesdesigned to promote greater exploration for traditional energy sources offshoreand on federal lands. The bill would also encourage the development of newenergy sources such as fuel cells and wind power.

 

Heat Units Accumulated Since Planting

Friday, July 29, 2005                                  ByRoger Haldenby

      You can track heat unitaccumulations at a weather station near your farming operations on the HighPlains of Texas using the "Heat Unit Calculator" on PCG's web pagesat: http://www.plainscotton.org

      The following table showsheat units accumulated at select locations through July 28, 2005 since thedates listed. A more complete table listing data for all available weatherstations is available on the PCG website.

 

Heat Units Accumulated

Based on entered data at July 28th

 

Station

1-May

8-May

15-May

22-May

29-May

5-Jun

12-Jun

19-Jun

Amarillo

1208

1201

1174

1121

1042

994

906

822

Big Spring

1668

1652

1536

1448

1318

1227

1084

920

Brownfield

1373

1367

1279

1204

1099

1023

899

767

Denver City

1282

1275

1203

1135

1038

963

846

721

Dimmitt

1017

1013

986

946

873

825

728

636

Floydada

1324

1320

1238

1167

1066

1002

891

769

Dumas

1121

1112

1088

1028

948

894

803

730

Lamesa

1379

1375

1289

1222

1121

1047

918

782

Littlefield

1310

1308

1235

1169

1063

995

887

765

Lubbock

1424

1415

1325

1251

1139

1064

943

810

Muleshoe

1132

1130

1092

1034

946

887

791

692

Plainview

1206

1202

1142

1083

993

932

828

712

Seminole

1435

1425

1340

1265

1156

1078

952

811

Tulia

1120

1118

1070

1020

933

877

783

688

Source: Plains Cotton Growers,Inc.