High PlainsHarvest Stays On Track;
Crop Quality Reflects Favorable Weather Pattern

Friday,December 2, 2005                         By Shawn Wade

      HighPlains cotton producers have taken full advantage of favorable October/Novemberweather conditions to make significant progress toward getting the 2005 cropfrom the stalk to the module.

      Becauseof the open weather that has prevailed since harvest got underway more than sixweeks ago the area is estimated to be approaching the 70 percent harvested markentering the first week of December.

      Now,producers with cotton still in the field are looking to maintain their momentumand hopefully complete the bulk of their harvest before Christmas.

      Sofar the only delays producers have experienced in 2005 have been caused by highwinds accompanying several weather systems that have passed through the area.

      Fortunatelydelays caused by excessive wind have rarely kept producers out of the field formore than a day. This is a significantly different, and preferable, situationfor growers compared to the conditions they struggled to overcome in 2004 whenmultiple weather systems brought precipitation in amounts that causedsignificant harvest delays across the area.

      ThroughDecember 1 cotton quality reports from the USDA Agricultural MarketingService-Cotton Division show that the 2005 crop could possibly be one of thehighest quality crops ever produced on the Texas High Plains when allproduction finally gets ginned and classed.

      Todate the Lubbock and Lamesa Cotton Classing offices have processed a combined2,089,052 bales, nearly 40 percent of the USDA National Agricultural StatisticsService 5.3 million bale production estimate for the High Plains. A 5.3 millionbale crop would establish a new production record for the area, breaking theprevious record of 4.9 million bales set in 2004.

      Individuallythe Lubbock office has classed just over 1.6 million bales while the Lamesaoffice has worked through 471,039 bales of 2005 crop cotton.

      USDANASS is in the process of updating its 2005 production estimate and willrelease revised district estimates on December 9. In addition to the revisedCrop Production Report, NASS will also release a new Cotton Ginnings report onthe 9th.

      Whetheror not USDA's December estimate shows an additional increase in the region'sprospects will largely depend on the responses received from cotton ginnerssince most survey fields have now been harvested.

      Sizeisn't the only thing setting the 2005 crop apart however. Using season averagequality readings to arrive at an estimated loan value for the first third ofthe 2005 High Plains crop is an eye opening experience as well.

      Balesevaluated at the Lubbock and Lamesa through November 24 show virtuallyidentical quality characteristics. Quality at the two offices is averagingColor 21, Leaf 3, Staple 35 (1-3/32nds inches), Micronaire 3.7, Strength 29grams/Tex and Uniformity of 80 on the bales classed through November 24.

      Pluggingthese values into the 2005 Commodity Credit Corporation loan chart generates anaverage loan value of 56.50 cents per pound. For the season only 6 percent ofthe bales processed at Lubbock and 8 percent of the bales classed at Lamesahave received a penalty for containing bark.

      Basedon the available information the 2005 crop seems destined to become anothermilestone for High Plains cotton production that producers will strive torepeat for years to come.


Don't Forget ToTake Advantage of Upcoming
Texas Country Cleanup Collection Events

      TheTexas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Department of Agriculture andTexas Cooperative Extension are getting together to clean up the Texascountryside during the month of December. High Plains residents will be mostinterested in the Hereford (December 9) and Slaton (December 12) collectiondates.

      TexasCountry Cleanup events are free of charge and open to all Texas residents, notjust farmers and ranchers. Participation is voluntary and confidential.

      Thejoint effort includes a series of six waste pesticide collection events acrossthe West Texas region. Collection dates have been set for Pampa, Dumas,Hereford, Slaton, St. Lawrence and Fabens beginning December 5 and endingDecember 16.

      Thefollowing is a list of scheduled cleanup dates and locations with appropriatecontact information for obtaining information on the kind of material that canbe accepted.


Texas CountryCleanup

December 2005 Collection Schedule






Dec. 5

8:00 a.m. –1:00 p.m.


Gray County Show Barn, 12125 E. Frederic

Brandon McGinty, Gray Co. Ext. Agent, 806-669-8033

Dec. 7

8:00 a.m. –1:00 p.m.


Old TxDOT Warehouse, 6091 West 1st at Hwy 87

Dennis Beilue, Moore Co. Ext. Agent, 806-935-2594

Dec. 9

8:00 a.m. –1:00 p.m.


Bull Barn, 3820 County Road 6A

Rick Auckerman, Deaf Smith Co. Ext. Agent, 806-364-3573

Dec. 12

8:00 a.m. –1:00 p.m.


Max Lee Crop Spraying, 880 Industrial Drive

Mark Brown, Lubbock Co. Ext. Agent,


Dec. 14

8:00 a.m. –1:00 p.m.

St. Lawrence

Glasscock Co. Co-Op, 300 CR Co-Op

Warren Multer, Glasscock Co. Ext. Agent, 432-354-2477

Dec. 16

8:00 a.m. –1:00 p.m.


Fabens Transfer Station, 1550 Fabens Street

Sara Downing, El Paso Co. Ext. Agent,




2006 BeltwideCotton Conferences

Return To SanAntonio January 4-6

      "Strategiesfor Success" is the theme for the NCC-coordinated conferences, January 4-6, atthe Marriott Rivercenter/Riverwalk hotels in San Antonio. The three-day format,which proved popular for the 2005 conferences, will feature the ProductionConference and its special seminars and workshops along with the 11 cottontechnical conferences and The Cotton Foundation's technical exhibits.

      Attendeesmust register online by going to the Beltwide web site at http://beltwide.cotton.org where general conference information also can befound. On-site registration will open Tuesday, January 3.

      Foradditional information, contact the NCC's Debbie Richter, P.O. 820285, Memphis,TN 38182 (901) 274-9030 FAX (901) 725-0510 or email beltwide@cotton.org.

      TheBeltwide Cotton Conferences brings together those with a stake in a healthyU.S. cotton production sector, including industry members, university and USDAresearchers, Extension personnel, consultants and allied product and serviceproviders. Attendance at the 2005 forum numbered more than 3,700.