2010 County Production Figures In; PCG Area

Produced 5.32 Million Upland Bales

Friday, May 13, 2011                           By Mary Jane Buerkle

      High Plains producers increased their upland cotton production by almost two million bales over 2009, bringing in 5,319,800 480-pound bales during the 2010 growing season.

      As recently as January 2011, the USDA estimate of 2010 production on the High Plains was 5.56 million bales. Although the final tally fell short of that number, the results certainly made for a successful year on the High Plains.

      Planted acreage in 2010 was up over 2009, totaling 3.68 million acres planted. Although these numbers reflected a planted acreage increase from 2009 of more than 400,000 acres, this was still below the 3.8 million acres planted a few years ago. High Plains producers reported harvesting 3,523,600 acres in 2010.

      The abandonment rate from initial plantings was extremely low for 2010 only 160,400 acres were abandoned in the region, or 4.35%. This was a significant decrease from 2009, when the abandonment rate was 26 percent.

      According to the final county level production estimates released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) on May 11, the Plains Cotton Growers 41-county service area accounted for 67.84 percent of the 7.84 million bales of Upland cotton produced in Texas last season.

      On a national basis the High Plains accounted for 30.22 percent of the 17.6 million Upland bales produced in the United States in 2010.

      A complete rundown of 2010 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.

      Hale County was once again the top-producing county on the High Plains, with 475,500 480-pound bales of cotton and averaging 1,017 pounds per harvested acre. Overall yield per harvested acre on the High Plains averaged 725 pounds in 2010.

      Joining Hale County in the top ten cotton-producing counties in the High Plains Region (reported in 480-lb bales) were: Lubbock, 456,100; Hockley, 425,600; Gaines, 398,800; Dawson, 381,900; Lynn, 350,500; Floyd, 334,500; Terry, 306,700; Crosby, 305,800; and Lamb, 301,100.

      As for yield, Castro County was the top-yielding county for 2010, producing 1,076 pounds per harvested acre. Ranking second and third in yield per harvested acre were Parmer County (1,057 pounds), and Hartley County (1,045 pounds). Hutchinson and Hale counties rounded out the top five High Plains counties. Each of the top five counties averaged more than 1,000 pounds per harvested acre in 2010.

      A complete listing of the 2010 Upland cotton production totals for Texas and other states is available on the NASS website (http://www.nass.usda.gov). Just click on the "Quick Stats" link to search for the data you want to find.

2010-crop Upland Cotton Production

Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. 41-County Service Area

County

Planted
(Acres)

Harvested
(Acres)

Yield per

Harv. Acre

Production
(Bales)

Andrews

Armstrong

Bailey

77,400

73,200

730

111,400

Borden

35,000

34,600

527

38,000

Briscoe

35,400

35,200

762

55,900

Carson

38,900

36,200

935

70,500

Castro

34,700

33,200

1,076

74,400

Cochran

138,000

131,600

701

192,200

Crosby

208,000

204,500

718

305,800

Dallam

Dawson

320,000

313,500

585

381,900

Deaf Smith

18,800

18,400

845

32,400

Dickens

27,100

27,100

604

34,100

Floyd

173,000

167,700

957

334,500

Gaines

291,500

258,000

742

398,800

Garza

44,200

43,300

576

52,000

Hale

247,000

224,500

1,017

475,500

Hansford

16,100

15,900

703

23,300

Hartley

6,300

6,200

1,045

13,500

Hemphill

Hockley

269,000

265,500

769

425,600

Howard

117,500

117,300

466

113,900

Hutchinson

8,000

7,700

1,029

16,500

Lamb

165,500

160,400

901

301,100

Lipscomb

Lubbock

273,000

272,000

805

456,100

Lynn

313,500

301,500

558

350,500

Martin

164,500

163,800

494

168,700

Midland

28,800

27,700

477

27,500

Moore

19,900

18,400

900

34,500

Motley

20,900

20,400

565

24,000

Ochiltree

11,800

11,200

789

18,400

Oldham

Parmer

44,300

39,000

1,057

85,900

Potter

Randall

3,900

3,900

751

6,100

Roberts

Sherman

21,600

18,700

983

38,300

Swisher

91,800

80,500

946

158,700

Terry

265,000

251,500

585

306,700

Yoakum

147,000

134,400

654

183,100

Combined Co.

6,600

6,600

727

10,000

High Plains Total

3,684,000

3,523,600

725

(weighted)

5,319,800

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

 

Prevented Planting Coverage Difficult

To Utilize In Drought Situations

Friday, May 13, 2011                                 By Shawn Wade

      Lubbock-based Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. has been looking at the Federal Crop Insurance Program's Prevented Planting (PP) provisions to see what opportunity, if any, might exist for dryland cotton producers impacted by drought conditions throughout the High Plains.

      PCG's inquiries have resulted in a better understanding of how the Prevented Planting coverage provision works and also clarified why the provision is almost never utilized in the region.

      PCG investigated what changes might be made in the Prevented Planting rules to make it work for growers in drought conditions as well as whether the legislative language authorizing Prevented Planting claims would allow for a change.

      Legislatively the Prevented Planting language in the Agriculture Risk Protection Act (ARPA) of 2000 is very clear and offers little or no opportunity for reinterpretation. For now, growers interested in Prevented Planting will have to work within the strict confines of the current PP coverage provisions.

      The first thing growers must realize is that successfully proving drought conditions were severe enough to prevent them and other growers in similar circumstances from getting into the field to plant is extremely difficult. That difficulty, coupled with the significant limitations an approved prevented planting claim would put on the grower, is usually enough to deter anyone from filing a PP claim.

      In fact, from a grower's standpoint there are clear advantages for them to plant all their acres before the final planting date for the crop in their county.

      By planting the crop the grower does the following:

      (1) Fulfills the planting requirement to establish coverage      under their policy of insurance to qualify for 100 percent of   their chosen insurance coverage, instead of the reduced       guarantee that is paid under the PP provision; and,

      (2) Maintain a full set of management options (This options   include the possibility of establishing a crop from the dry-      planted acres, receive a full insurance indemnity if the initial      crop fails, and, if the initial crop fails, be allowed to keep       their     first crop insurance payment while planting an     uninsured       second crop for harvest if growing conditions improve).

      Interestingly, the primary reason it is difficult to get a prevented planting claim based on drought approved is not the documentation required to prove the length, severity or coverage area of drought conditions, but in showing that other growers, under the same conditions, made the identical determination that it was impossible to plant.

      The difficulty of clearing that last hurdle was clarified earlier this week with the release of a Final Agency Determination (FAD-141) by the USDA Risk Management Agency on May 10, 2011 regarding consideration and approval of Prevented Planting claims.

      In FAD-141 the Agency agreed that an insurance company making a Prevented Planting determination should deny the claim in the event that growers in the surrounding area are shown to have planted the crop.

      Specifically, the Agency noted that under the Prevented Planting provision the definition of surrounding area should not be limited to fields in "near geographic proximity" and should encompass fields with similar soils, topography and prevailing climatic conditions, regardless of proximity.

      With no room to adjust the PP provisions and an almost insurmountable directive that PP clams should be denied if growers in similar circumstances plant the crop Prevented Planting is clearly a less than attractive alternative for dryland growers on the Texas High Plains.

      Add in the fact that PP claims must be filed within 72 hours after the final planting date and disapproval of that claim would result in no crop being planted and no insurance on the farm, unless notice of denial is provided while adequate time remains for the grower to plant another insurable crop on the acreage.

      In terms of Prevented Planting's potential impact on other USDA programs, the most notable adverse impact would definitely be on the one program a grower suffering drought related losses needs the most the Supplemental Revenue Assurance Program (SURE).

      Since calculation of a producer's SURE program guarantee is tied to their insurance coverage level, filing a Prevented Planting claim can have detrimental impacts regardless.

      Denial of the PP claim could mean no insurance is in place on the farm for purposes of the SURE program, or that a lower guarantee is calculated due to the need to insure a lower value secondary crop. A successful Prevented Planting claim would also result in a lower SURE guarantee calculation because of the reduction of the producer's insurance guarantee that occurs by exercising the Prevented Planting provision.

 

NRCS to Host Local Work Group Meetings

      The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts will host Local Work Group meetings in May and June. The purpose of the public meetings is to receive input from farmers, ranchers, local agencies, organizations, local agricultural leaders, businesses, and other individuals that have an interest in natural resource concerns.

      Area meetings in May are as follows:

      May 17 Canadian, USDA Service Center, 814 South 2nd St., Suite B, 6 p.m.

      May 19 Aspermont, Stonewall County Courthouse, 128 West 6th St., 9 a.m.

      May 19 Pampa, Gray County Annex. Bldg., 12125 East Frederic Ave., 7 p.m.

      May 25 Amarillo, Agrilife Extension Center, 6500 Amarillo Blvd. West, 10 a.m.

      June meetings will be listed in a future Cotton News. For more information, contact the local USDA-NRCS office in your county, listed under USDA in the Yellow Pages, or access the information on the Texas NRCS Web site at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov.

 

 

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