September Crop Estimate Indicates Potential
Record for High Plains in 2005

Friday, September 16, 2005                       By Shawn Wade

      USDA's September Crop Reportcaught cotton producers on the Texas High Plains a little off guard.

      By boosting the High Plainscrop estimate some 860,000 bales, USDA has voiced an opinion that many on theHigh Plains had kept mostly to themselves – that the 2005 crop might beas good or better than 2004's record-shattering effort.

      Projecting total productionof 4.93 million bales for Texas crop reporting districts 1-N and 1-S, theSeptember 12 report sets the bar for 2005 at a record-breaking height. Theincrease also shows how good the month of August was to the crop.

      In the report USDA alsoprojects the state of Texas to produce 7.2 million bales of cotton, up 1.1million bales from the August estimate.

      With the first half ofSeptember providing basically the same favorable weather patterns as August,and with near-term forecasts calling for more of the same, it looks like quitea few High Plains cotton acres could be ready for harvest aid applications bythe first week of October.

      USDA yield projections forthe area show the predominantly irrigated district 1-N has the potential toproduce 857 pounds per acre, up 121 pounds from the August estimate. District1-S is projected to yield 633 pounds per acre, up 118 pounds from August. Bothof these figures are below the average yields recorded for the 2004 crop andcould eventually climb higher if the crop follows the same yield trend seen in2004.

      One interesting observationfrom the acreage side of the September report was the increase in plantedacreage in district 1-N from 850,000 to 900,000 acres. This newly "found"acreage brought a similar increase in projected harvested acreage of 40,000acres.

      The USDA report indicates thearea has an impressive 3.46 million acres remaining for harvest from an initialplanting of 3.7 million. These figures indicate the area has only lost 240,000acres of cotton to weather this year. If realized this would equate to a 6.5percent abandonment figure for the season. The 2004 crop had in-seasonabandonment of just under 11 percent.

      The fact that the crop seemsto have dodged the bullet for the majority of the growing season does not meanthe High Plains is out of the woods just yet.

      Recent scatteredthunderstorms, the first round of which occurred the weekend before HurricaneKatrina hit the Gulf Coast, have damaged well over 100,000 acres of cottonthrough a combination of hail and high winds. It will be some time before thismost recent storm damage is fully evaluated and a final acreage loss figure iscalculated.

      Of utmost concern toproducers right now is that even though the crop report bears out what many areseeing in their fields, the 2005 crop still has ground to cover before thatrecord-breaking projection can be fully realized.

      For the season it appearssomewhere between 300,000-400,000 acres of cotton have been severely damaged ordestroyed during the course of the 2005-growing season. Ironically, half ormore of those losses may have occurred the weekend of August 27.

      Due to the timing of the USDAsurvey process, it is likely that most of the losses from the weekend of August27, and certainly any losses that have occurred since that date, will not bepicked up until the next crop production report is released.


WTACITo Hold 53rd Annual Conference Sept. 21

      The West Texas AgriculturalChemicals Institute will hold its 53rd Annual Agricultural Chemicals Conferenceat the Holiday Inn - Park Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, 3201 South Loop289, Lubbock on September 21, 2005.

      Registration for theconference begins at 7:00 a.m. For anyone interested in attending an on-siteregistration fee of $70, payable by either cash or check, will secure admissionto the conference.

      This year's program willinclude an update on activities of the Texas Department of Agriculture fromTexas Commissioner of Agriculture Susan Combs.

      Membership of the Instituteis open to any individual, business, or professional group interested inimproving educational programs related to agricultural chemicals and their safeuse. Membership fees are used to pay expenses of the conference, promoteprograms of interest to the West Texas agricultural community and providescholarship funds for agricultural students at designated universities.

      You can download the 2005Conference program, that also contains the registration form, from this link:

      The conference is approved forcontinuing education credits by TDA, CCA, NMDA and OKDA.


High Plains Crop Tour & Field Day Schedule *

September 2005

Sept. 20

Floyd County Ag Tour. Contact J.D. Ragland, CEA-AG, at 806-983-4912.

Sept. 21

West Texas Ag Chemicals Institute Annual Meeting, Holiday Inn Lubbock Plaza Hotel.

Sept. 22

Bayer CropScience/FiberMax Field Day, phone 806-765-8844 for more information

Sept. 22

Lynn County Crop Tour. Contact Bryan Reynolds, CEA-AG, at 806-561-4562.

Sept. 28

Crosby County Crop Tour. Contact Steve Young, CEA-AG, at 806-675-2347.

Sept. 28

All-Tex Seed Field Day, Levelland, Texas,

Call 806-894-4901 for more information.

Sept. 29

Stoneville / NexGen Field Day, 9:00 am – Noon, at Stoneville's Idalou Research Station, located at the intersection of FM 789 and Highway 62/82 east of Idalou. Lunch will be provided.

*To add an event to thiscalendar contact PCG at 806-792-4904