USDA Planting Intentions Says 12.3 million Upland
Cotton Acres in 2011; Texas To Plant 6.1 million

Lubbock, April 1, 2011                              By Shawn Wade

      USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) says U.S. cotton producers will boost acreage by 15 percent in 2011 and plant an estimated 12.3 million acres to Upland cotton. Pima cotton plantings are expected to total 252,000 acres nationwide. This marks the second 15 percent increase in U.S. cotton planted acreage in as many years.

      USDA's 12.3 million acre estimate is at the lower end of the range predicted in the days leading up to the report's release. Expectations for Texas acres were also smaller than expected.

      Instead of approaching 6.4 million acres as some thought the state might, Texas producers are currently expected to plant an estimated 6.1 million acres to Upland cotton in 2011 - ten percent more than were planted last year.

      Higher cotton prices spurred much of the switch nationally and in Texas. The changes could have been larger except that rebounds in corn, wheat and soybean prices has tempered at least some of the early enthusiasm for switching to cotton.

      Immediately following release of the Prospective Plantings report cotton futures surged upward across the board. The December 2011 futures contract led the way trading up the limit much of the day at $1.325 per pound. Clearly, the bearish influence that additional planted acres usually have on the market was been offset by the smaller than expected magnitude of the increase and unfavorable weather conditions in various parts of the Cotton Belt.


EPA Approves Registration of
Poncho®/VotivoTM Cotton Seed Treatments

      The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as approved the registration of Poncho®/VOTiVO™ seed treatment from Bayer CropScience for use on cotton.

      According to Bayer officials, Poncho®/VOTiVO™ protects against damage from a broad range of nematode species, including reniform and root-knot. It does so through a new biological mode of action that introduces revolutionary living-barrier science.

      Bayer notes that Poncho®/VOTiVO™ can be used to control early season insect pests such as thrips, aphids and others, and should be paired with additional seed-applied insecticides (Gaucho® or Aeris®) from Bayer CropScience.

      According to the Cotton Disease Loss Estimate Committee, nematodes remain a major yield-reducing pest of cotton with more than 500,000 bales of yield potential lost to nematode damage in 2009. Poncho®/VOTiVO™ protects against multiple types of nematodes, making it the perfect partner for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs.

      For more information, contact your Bayer CropScience field representative or visit:


Issues Identification Forum Helps
Identify/Set County Level Extension Priorities

Lubbock, April 1, 2011                              By Shawn Wade

      Texas AgriLife Extension Service is seeking the input of local residents to help direct the Agency's educational efforts over the next three to five years.

      From its earliest days Texas AgriLife Extension has sought out grassroots guidance to help it determine issues of importance in each of the county-based program's operational areas.

      A county Leadership Advisory Board (LAB) leads the process of identifying relevant issues in each of Texas' 254 counties. The LAB is a volunteer group, comprised of community leaders passionate about the Extension mission; "improving the lives of people, businesses, and communities across Texas and beyond through high-quality, relevant education."

      Constituent input is valuable to Extension personnel and to each county LAB as they work to identify and prioritize the issues that Texas AgriLife Extension will be addressing at the county level in the future.

      Texas AgriLife Extension Service provides programming in four areas: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Family and Consumer Sciences, 4-H and Youth Development and Community and Economic Development. The process of discovering what issues need to be addressed in each of these program areas is what Extension calls 'Issues Identification.'

      Constituent input can be provided for any Texas county via the Texas AgriLife Extension's Electronic Issue Identification Forum webpage ( ).

      Currently, an online Issue Identification Forum is being held for Terry and Yoakum Counties to help County Extension Agents there identify the most critical issues affecting local citizens. In order to make sure that the programs being planned for the future are on target, everyone is invited to participate in the Online Issue Forum.

      To participate and help establish Extension priorities in your county, go to . The online survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, and will provide valuable insight into the issues facing citizens in Terry and Yoakum Counties.

      The Terry and Yoakum county online forum is currently open, and will remain open for input until midnight on April 10. The link to the survey is prominent on the website, but should you have any problems, please contact your county Extension office. For assistance in Terry County call 806-637-4060. In Yoakum County the phone number to call is 806-456-2263.


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