2008 High Plains Cotton Crop Falls
Just Short Of The 3 Million Bale Production Mark

Friday, May 15, 2009                          By Shawn Wade

      The 2008 production season was a "tough row to hoe" on the High Plains as drought and dry, tenacious winds combined to keep one-third of the area's cotton acres from achieving a stand. The end result was a disappointing 2008 Upland cotton crop totaling only 2,993,700 bales.

      A huge factor in the production drop-off was drought conditions that kept High Plains cotton acres behind the eight ball from the very beginning

      Planted acreage in 2008 was nearly identical to the number seeded to the crop in 2007 but suffered a vastly different final outcome. The area's 3.27 million planted cotton acres were well below the region's high water mark of 3.8 million acres planted just a few years ago.

      Harvested acreage plummeted in 2008 with total abandonment of 1.322 million bales, a staggering 40 percent abandonment rate from initial plantings. Abandonment on the near-record 2007 High Plains crop was a much lower 5.8 percent.

      According to the final county level production estimates released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) on May 13, the Plains Cotton Growers 41-county service area accounted for 65.9 percent of the 4.45 million bales of Upland cotton produced in Texas last season.

      On a national basis the High Plains accounted for 24.1 percent of the 12.384 million Upland bales produced in the United States in 2008.

      A complete run-down of 2008-crop statistics for planted and harvested acreage, yield per harvested acre and total bales produced in PCG's 41-county service area is included in the table that accompanies this article.

      The top producing High Plains County in 2008 was Hale County, which produced 375,000 480-pound bales of cotton and averaged 956 pounds per harvested acre.

      The 2008-crop's Top Ten cotton producing counties in the High Plains region (reported in 480-lb bales) were: Hale, 375,000; Lubbock, 346,000; Hockley, 280,000; Floyd, 258,800; Crosby, 227,200; Lynn, 197,400; Gaines, 167,500,000; Lamb, 163,000; Terry, 161,300; and, Dawson, 144,500.

      On a straight yield per harvested acre basis the High Plains' produced a decent 728 pounds. Ochiltree County was 2008's top yielding county producing 1,071 pounds per harvested acre.

      Ranking second and third in yield per harvested acre were Martin County (1,010 pounds), and Hale County (956 pounds). Parmer and Hansford counties rounded out the top five High Plains counties. Each of these counties averaged more than 900 pounds per acre in 2008.

      A complete listing of the 2008 Upland cotton production totals for Texas and other states is available on the NASS website (www.usda.gov.nass/). Just click on the "Quick Stats" link to search for the data you want to find.

2008-crop Upland Cotton Production

Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. 41-County Service Area

County

Planted (Acres)

Harvested (Acres)

Yield per

Harv. Acre

Production (Bales)

Andrews

21,400

5,100

781

8,300

Armstrong

Bailey

62,200

22,700

524

24,800

Borden

32,000

17,800

367

13,600

Briscoe

29,900

26,500

730

40,300

Carson

32,600

28,100

752

44,000

Castro

25,000

19,000

740

29,300

Cochran

111,100

33,300

696

48,300

Crosby

203,200

191,100

571

227,200

Dallam

Dawson

297,500

114,000

608

144,500

Deaf Smith

12,100

6,600

727

10,000

Dickens

22,700

20,300

411

17,400

Floyd

154,500

147,900

840

258,800

Gaines

249,000

104,000

773

167,500

Garza

39,800

28,000

495

28,900

Hale

201,800

188,800

956

375,900

Hansford

5,700

5,100

913

9,700

Hartley

Hemphill

Hockley

244,500

177,700

756

280,000

Howard

126,800

13,300

386

10,700

Hutchinson

Lamb

128,300

98,000

798

163,000

Lipscomb

Lubbock

246,500

202,600

821

346,700

Lynn

312,200

183,300

517

197,400

Martin

163,500

12,500

1,010

26,300

Midland

28,000

6,300

770

10,100

Moore

11,300

9,600

755

15,100

Motley

21,000

9,400

551

10,800

Ochiltree

5,600

5,600

1,071

12,500

Oldham

Parmer

26,900

17,600

927

34,000

Potter

Randall

1,500

1,000

720

1,500

Roberts

Sherman

14,700

14,300

896

26,700

Swisher

68,600

62,000

801

103,500

Terry

239,900

122,200

634

161,300

Yoakum

116,800

42,800

739

65,900

1-N Combined

12,100

9,700

975

19,700

41-County Total

 

3,268,700

 

1,946,200

 

728

(weighted)

2,933,700

 

Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service;
= Zero Production or production aggregated into Combined Counties

 

Continued on Page 2

 

"The Hand That Feeds U.S." - New Website
Working To Educate Media About Agriculture

Friday, May 15, 2009                          By Shawn Wade

      This week marked the launch of a new campaign designed specifically to educate the urban media about agriculture in America.

      Called The Hand that Feeds U.S., the effort is a project of FarmPolicyFacts.org and includes a website (http://www.thehandthatfeedsus.org) and a web-based electronic newsletter (with links back to the website). The effort is geared to deliver factual information directly to urban media sources about the agriculture industry and the challenges facing farm families that feed and clothe us.

      To view the initial The Hand that Feeds U.S. newsletter go to: http://www.enewsbuilder.net/thehand/

      In its first week The Hand That Feeds U.S. sent its e-newsletter to more than 1000 media contacts. In addition, media packets with fact sheets were sent by mail to approximately 350 key urban reporters throughout the nation.

      The information in the newsletter and on the website is all built around 4 key themes:

(1) that agriculture is important (it is foundational and economically significant);

(2) that agricultural policy is also important;

(3) that family farms still dominate the landscape of rural America (see the "Profiles: Barry Evans" section); and

(4) that the American model is the most responsible way to feed the 6.8 Billion people of our world.

      One of the first Farmer Profiles spotlighted by The Hand That Feeds U.S. is a segment on Kress, Texas cotton producer, and current Plains Cotton Growers President Barry Evans and his family. Check out Barry's profile at: http://www.thehandthatfeedsus.org/farmers.cfm

      The Hand That Feeds U.S. spokespeople also participated in numerous interviews with farm news outlets. Next week, The Hand That Feeds U.S. spokespeople will fly to New York to meet with reporters face to face. Interviews have already been scheduled with the New York Times, CNN, and Marketplace Radio .

      Highlights of the effort's highly successful first week include:

     Nearly 3,500 The Hand That Feeds U.S. views of the sites web pages;

     Nearly 1,000 people have visited the site;

     Successfully sent the e-newsletter to 659 subscribers (mostly reporters);

     Nearly 1,000 page views of the newsletter;

     220 video views on YouTube and Vimeo (a YouTube-like video site)

 

 

Cotton Council International FAX - May 15, 2009

 

CCI's COTTON USA Sourcing Program welcomes some of the largest Korean knitters and apparel makers with operations in Central America to the U.S. to meet U.S. mills. Ten companies from Korea and the CBI region, as well as three U.S. retailers, began their U.S. mill tour in Pinehurst, NC with a half-day seminar. The group visited Cotton Incorporated's headquarters in Cary, NC. The group then divided up and visited nine U.S. textile manufacturing operations in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Participating mills include: Buhler Quality Yarns Corp.; Clovertex, LLC; Carolina Cotton Works, Inc.; Contempora Fabrics, Inc.; Frontier Spinning Mills; Hamrick Mills, Inc.; Hanes Brands; Parkdale; Tuscarora Yarns, Inc.; and Zagis USA. The tour provided an excellent opportunity for the U.S. cotton textile industry to highlight its commitment to quality and efficiency and to boost its relationship with the Korean textile-garment market.

COTTON USA achieves impressive radio media exposure in Germany. During a six week series five different COTTON USA radio stories reached 21.2 million German consumers. The stories featured U.S. cotton in its versatile faces from field to home and fashion, and highlighted U.S. cotton's sustainability as well as the International Year of Natural Fibers. The radio editorials were broadcasted 135 times by 30 radio stations throughout the country including leading stations like HIT Radio RTL, Main FM and Radio Energy, and achieved a total airing time of 4.5 hours on German radio. CCI Germany obtained an equivalent advertising value of about $400,000 for the radio stories, in which key German spokespeople from the brand, design and retail levels took part to point out the importance of U.S. cotton to their business and to consumers.

COTTON USA garners attention from sponsorship of Nathan Jenden at London Fashion Week. The partnership between COTTON USA and Nathan Jenden was designed to educate trade, media and consumers about the high quality and style of products made from U.S. cotton. Following the sponsorship, COTTON USA gained coverage in prestigious UK consumer print and website media outlets for a value of about $97,000, with an outstanding circulation of 5.2 million. CCI's participation in Perumoda expands COTTON USA message. With a booth in the full package section, CCI had a strong presence and identified numerous potential mill clients at the fair in Lima, Peru. CCI disseminated useful information on the COTTON USA licensing program and COTTON USA Sourcing Program to the industry via advertorials in El Comercio Daily and an ad published in the exhibitor guide. In addition to reaching the local textile industry at Perumoda, CCI also visited 12 companies in Lima to stay abreast of current developments within the industry. Ten of the 12 companies were new contacts. During this travel the Sourcing Program had the opportunity to visit the two main retailers in Peru, Ripley and Saga Falabella, to obtain valuable information about both retailers and better understand their market.