USDA Says 5.29 Million Bale HighPlains Crop;
Cotton Harvest Nearing Halfway Point

Friday, November 11, 2005                        By Shawn Wade

      Producers are taking fulladvantage of optimum conditions and the High Plains cotton harvest isprogressing rapidly with an estimated 35 percent of the crop ginned orharvested and tucked away in modules waiting their turn.

      Plains Cotton Growersestimate of harvest progress was derived using data released in the November 10USDA Crop Production report and classing data from the Lubbock and LamesaCotton Classing offices.

      Based on average dailyreceipts at the region's two USDA Agricultural Marketing Service CottonClassing offices and a rough estimate that most gins have about two weeks worthof ginning sitting in the field, it appears that with a favorable weatherpattern the High Plains could surpass the halfway point of the harvest beforeThanksgiving.

      Classing office data showthat through November 10 almost 20 percent of the projected 2005 crop, some950,000 bales, have already been classed.

      Another 840,000 or so bales,or about two weeks worth of ginning based on average daily receipts at the twoClassing offices, are estimated to be in modules ready to be ginned.

      Adding the two figures putsthe High Plains at the 35 percent harvested estimate and indicates that attheir current pace producers are harvesting almost 8 percent of the 2005 cropeach week under favorable harvest conditions.

      Maintaining that pace givesthe area an opportunity to be finished harvesting before Christmas if theregion avoids an extended weather delay.

      Based on the Novemberproduction estimate the High Plains of Texas is on track to make it two in arow with a second straight record-breaking crop.

      According to data collectedby the Texas Agricultural Statistics Service the High Plains will produce animpressive 5.29 million bales in crop reporting districts 1-N and 1-S. Thisfigure is up 45,000 bales from the previous month and reflects a modest 8-poundper acre yield increase for the southern district that includes the Lubbock andLamesa production area. Harvested acreage in both districts was left unchangedas was the yield forecast for district 1-N.

      The report also estimatedTexas cotton production to be 200,000 bales higher than was forecast in Octoberprimarily due to the 45,000-bale increase in the High Plains and an115,000-bale increase in the Rolling Plains production area.

      Assuming the November numbersare accurate, the 7.8 million bales estimated for Texas would eclipse the 7.74million-bale all-time cotton production record set in 2004. (See table)

      Quality readings for the 2005High Plains cotton crop through the first 20-odd percent that has been reviewedby the Lubbock and Lamesa cotton classing facilities show the crop to have muchhigher quality than the 2004 crop.

      Most of the qualitydifferences are due to the outstanding weather that has prevailed during the2005 harvest season.

      In virtually every fiberquality category the 2005 crop is proving to be superior to 2004. Consideringthe dramatic difference in the relative harvest conditions the differences arenot surprising.

      To date the Lubbock andLamesa Classing offices have processed some 950,000 bales and have shownvirtually identical quality results.

      To date cotton classed at thetwo offices have received an average Color grade of 21 and an average leafgrade of 3. Both of these readings are above the Color 31, Leaf 4 base loanquality standard.

      Color and Leaf grades aren'tthe only areas where the Lamesa and Lubbock Classing offices are running neckand neck and the rest of the 2005 quality story is just as upbeat for HighPlains cotton producers.

      Staple length readings at thetwo offices are separated by less than a 32nd of an inch with theLubbock office averaging a Staple reading of 35 (1-3/32nd inches).The Lamesa office is just a little longer with an average Staple length of35.4.

      Bark continues to just be aminor issue thanks to the good harvest conditions. To date less than 15 percentof the High Plains bales classed have been called barky and the overallpercentage of barky bales continues to drop dramatically.

      Perhaps the only weak spotthat can be reported on the quality front is that Micronaire readings at bothoffices continue to fall below the level most producers would prefer to see.

      Micronaire readings at theLubbock and Lamesa offices are averaging 3.8, the lower end of the marketingloan's 3.7-4.2 premium micronaire range. Despite the somewhat lower thanexpected mike readings, Strength measurements are averaging a satisfactory 29grams per tex overall.

      For High Plains growers,producing high quality fiber is a priority. Combining that commitment toquality with the opportunity to produce a second record crop makes High Plainsproducers the supplier of choice for textile mill buyers in 2005.

 

TEXAS UPLAND COTTON DISTRICT ESTIMATES, 2004 AND 2005

Districts

Planted

Harvested

Yield Per Acre

Production

 

2004

2005

2004

2005

2004

2005

2004

2005

 

1,000 acres

1,000 acres

Pounds

1,000 bales

1-N

849.0

900.0

726.1

790.0

818

875

1,238.0

1,440.0

1-S

2,813.0

2,800.0

2,527.0

2,670.0

681

692

3,585.5

3,850.0

2-N

396.0

395.0

378.2

370.0

572

597

451.0

460.0

2-S

488.0

525.0

472.6

490.0

502

504

494.5

515.0

4

127.0

115.0

121.9

105.0

665

571

168.9

125.0

7

163.1

175.0

149.8

150.0

673

560

210.0

175.0

8-N

79.0

80.0

75.8

75.0

899

768

142.0

120.0

8-S

367.5

370.0

356.0

345.0

761

640

564.4

460.0

9

245.6

245.0

235.8

240.0

710

560

348.8

280.0

10-S

215.2

185.0

205.2

165.0

824

625

352.0

215.0

Other2/

106.6

110.0

101.6

100.0

874

768

184.9

160.0

STATE

5,850.0

5,900.0

5,350.0

5,500.0

694

681

7,740.0

7,800.0

Source: Texas Agricultural StatisticsService, November 2005