Texas Tech Announces New Moniker For
CASNR's International Textile Center

Friday, June 27, 2008                         By Mike Stevens

      Texas Tech University'sInternational Textile Center (ITC) is a unique part of the cotton researchinfrastructure in Texas. This will continue, but under a new name. Effectiveimmediately, the new institutional name is the Fiber and Biopolymer ResearchInstitute (FBRI).

      The name was vetted over aperiod of months by agricultural groups and approved by CASNR Dean John Burns,University Provost William Marcy and other Texas Tech University officials.

      "The name was chosen tobetter communicate our research mission," said Dean Ethridge, FBRI's ManagingDirector. "Our efforts to enhance the economic value of cotton as anindustrial raw material have increasingly involved research at the structuraland molecular levels. From a structural/molecular viewpoint, cotton is aniconic example of a biopolymer.

      "We believe that the decisivetechnological advances of the future will come from such research and we aredetermined to help achieve breakthroughs that will secure cotton's future as adominant global fiber, as well as Texas' position as a major supplier to theglobal market."

      "Admittedly, the name israther long and does not 'roll off the tongue," Ethridge says. "We'reencouraging everyone to feel free to simply say 'Fiber Institute.'"

      The FBRI building hasundergone recent renovation—enlarging the Materials Evaluation Laboratory(MEL) and creating the Institute's new Biopolymer Research Laboratory (BRL).The BRL is fundamental to the FBRI's longstanding mission to add value tonatural fibers produced in Texas and an integral part of a growingcollaboration with plant breeders, geneticists and biotechnologists.

      As always, the knowledgegleaned in the newly improved fiber and biopolymer research laboratories isverified and augmented by the yarn spinning and other processing laboratoriesat the FBRI.

      Vital guidance comes to theFBRI through three entities firmly rooted in the cotton industry: One, theTexas Department of Agriculture's Food and Fibers Research Program; another,the Plains Cotton Improvement Program, funded with check-off funds from TexasPlains Cotton producers and administered through their Plains Cotton GrowersAssociation. The third source of guidance, international in scope, is CottonIncorporated, funded with check-off funds from U.S. cotton producers andimporters, with the mission "to increase the demand for and profitability ofcotton through research and promotion." Substantial additional funding forresearch projects come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and from a widearray of private sector entities.

 

Visit PCG on the Web: WWW.PLAINSCOTTON.ORG

 

2007 High Plains Cotton Crop Comes
Close To Setting New All-time Production Record

Friday, June 27, 2008                         By Shawn Wade

      The 2007 production seasonwas book-ended by two weather extremes, but fortunately for High Plains cottonproducers they combined perfectly and resulted in a near-record crop totaling 5.376million bales.

      According to final countyproduction figures released by the USDA National Agricultural StatisticsService (NASS) on June 20, the Plains Cotton Growers 41-county service areaaccounted for 65.2 percent of the 8.25 million bales of Upland cotton producedin Texas last season.

      On a national basis the HighPlains accounted for 29.3 percent of the 18.355 million Upland bales producedin the United States in 2007.

      A complete run-down of2007-crop statistics for planted and harvested acreage, yield per harvestedacre and total bales produced in PCG's 41-county service area is included inthe table that accompanies this article.

      To reach the 5.376 millionbale mark, High Plains producers had to deal with a variety of issues. Abundantearly rainfall and cool soil temperatures seemed to put the crop on a rockyroad at the beginning of the season. Those tough early conditions gave way to ahot and dry close that was tailor made for maturing the bountiful yields thatthe early rainfall helped support.

      Even though the area's 3.21million planted cotton acres were well below what has been planted in theregion in recent years, the High Plains tallied only 182,000 lost acres for aminimal abandonment rate of just 5.67 percent.

      This meant a significantboost to the 2007 crop came from the region's dryland acreage, which respondedto the plentiful moisture situation with exceptional yields.

      The top producing High PlainsCounty in 2007 was Gaines County, which produced 487,000 bales of cotton andaveraged 905 pounds per harvested acre.

      The 2007-crop's Top Tencotton producing counties in the High Plains region (reported in 480-lb bales)were: Gaines, 487,000; Lubbock, 482,000; Hockley, 450,000; Lynn, 443,000;Dawson, 393,000; Hale, 389,000; Terry, 371,000; Crosby, 342,000; Floyd,293,200; and, Martin, 233,000.

      Each of the High Plains' topfour cotton counties (Gaines, Lubbock, Hockley and Lynn) accounted for morecotton individually than was grown in 7 of the 17 States that recorded cottonproduction in the United States in 2007.

      On a straight yield per acrebasis the High Plains' run-away top performer in 2007 was Parmer County with anaverage yield of 1,307 pounds.

      Ranking second and third inyield per acre were Castro County (1,225 pounds), and Moore County (1,200pounds). Hutchinson and Floyd counties rounded out the top five High Plainscounties. Each of these counties averaged more than 1,100 pounds per acre in2007.

      Altogether, 10 High Plainscounties managed to average more than 1,000 pounds per harvested acre in 2007.Overall the area averaged 852 pounds per harvested acre for the 2007 growingseason.

      A complete listing of the2007 Upland cotton production totals for Texas and other states is available onthe NASS website (www.usda.gov.nass/). Just click on the "Quick Stats" link tosearch for the data you want to find.

      Thetable below shows the final USDA NASS production numbers for the 41-county PCGservice area.

2007-crop Upland CottonProduction

Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.41-County Service Area

County

Planted (Acres)

Harvested (Acres)

Yield per

Harv. Acre

Production (Bales)

Andrews

*

*

*

*

Armstrong

*

*

*

*

Bailey

55,600

46,800

605

59,000

Borden

29,000

29,000

662

40,000

Briscoe

24,900

23,000

1,023

49,000

Carson

25,000

24,600

1,044

53,500

Castro

26,500

23,900

1,225

61,000

Cochran

122,400

115,700

664

160,000

Crosby

200,200

191,500

857

342,000

Dallam

*

*

*

*

Dawson

283,100

271,300

695

393,000

Deaf Smith

13,100

11,200

900

21,000

Dickens

21,900

21,800

793

36,000

Floyd

147,000

126,800

1,110

293,200

Gaines

263,900

258,200

905

487,000

Garza

41,400

41,400

684

59,000

Hale

205,400

172,700

1,081

389,000

Hansford

4,000

3,100

697

4,500

Hartley

*

*

*

*

Hemphill

*

*

*

*

Hockley

256,200

244,500

883

450,000

Howard

105,900

105,300

830

182,000

Hutchinson

3,000

3,000

1,120

7,000

Lamb

129,400

116,900

944

230,000

Lipscomb

*

*

*

*

Lubbock

247,100

233,900

989

482,000

Lynn

301,600

291,000

731

443,000

Martin

148,700

146,600

763

233,000

Midland

27,000

27,000

693

39,000

Moore

11,400

10,800

1,200

27,000

Motley

21,500

21,500

692

31,000

Ochiltree

6,100

5,300

598

6,600

Oldham

*

*

*

*

Parmer

23,800

16,900

1,307

46,000

Potter

*

*

*

*

Randall

1,700

1,600

720

2,400

Roberts

*

*

*

*

Sherman

15,800

14,000

1,063

31,000

Swisher

54,300

48,700

1,078

109,400

Terry

234,900

229,600

776

371,000

Yoakum

125,500

118,700

736

182,000

Combined Co. *

33,400

32,200

844

56,600

41-county Totals

3,210,700

3,028,500

852

(weighted)

5,376,200

Source: National Agricultural StatisticsService;

      = ZeroProduction or production aggregated into Combined Counties