Big Decreases For Cotton Highlight

November Crop Production Report

Friday, November 11, 2011                       By Shawn Wade

      According to reports provided at the bi-weekly Plains Cotton Advisory Group meeting it appears the High Plains has reached the halfway point of the 2011 ginning season. According to Texas AgriLife Extension Service County Agent reports harvest is slightly ahead of that pace in many counties, but still lagging in others.

      The discrepancy in harvest progress is a function of crop condition and yield potential. Better yielding fields are being treated with harvest aids as necessary and harvested. Growers with lower yielding fields have in many instances decided to limit additional expense and wait for a true "killing" freeze to defoliate and stop plant growth.

      Most of the region has officially recorded a nighttime low temperature below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but thus far temperatures haven't stayed below the freezing mark long enough to fully terminate unharvested cotton in a good portion of the PCG service area.

      Assuming Mother Nature cooperates over the next few weeks, the balance of the High Plains harvest should be completed by the end of November as will ginning activity in many locations.

      Overall, High Plains production prospects continue to diminish as estimated by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). In fact, the latest USDA NASS Crop Production Report estimated 2011 Texas Upland cotton production at 3.85 million bales, down 150,000 bales from the October 1 report.

      All of the drop in production was a result of USDA lowering the statewide average yield per harvested acre to 578 pounds from the previous months level of 600 pounds. The number of harvested acres for the State was not adjusted from the October to the November reports.

      The November Crop Production report did not provide crop reporting at the district level, but the bulk of the November production adjustments are thought to come from the High Plains and Rolling Plains.

      The next district level production estimate will be provided with the December USDA Crop Production Report and should include actual ginning data for the vast majority of these two regions.

      Industry estimates of production from the High and Rolling Plains remain below the November USDA estimate, although the figures are slowly converging. Major factors influencing the ongoing disagreement between the two sources are ongoing questions about overall yield levels and the number of acres that actually remain for harvest.

      Although production lags, the quality of the 2011 crop is faring much better than many expected. In fact, taking a look at quality reports provided by the USDA AMS Cotton Division Cotton Classing office in Lubbock, which is processing cotton from both the Lubbock and Lamesa Classing office territories, this season, it is clear that the crop is better than anticipated.

      Overall quality for Lubbock territory cotton has been one of the more unexpected and pleasant surprises, while Lamesa territory cotton is also holding up well.

      A deeper look at the reports from the two offices shows that a total of 820,426 bales have been classed, representing approximately one-half of the total bales expected this season.

      At what may be the mid-point of the harvest season, average grades for both territories are holding steady, and in the case of Staple length from the Lubbock territory, actually improving slightly.

      The latest weekly reports for the two offices show that more than 87 percent of the bales classed have received Color grades 21 or 11, while Leaf and Micronaire readings have been equally good. So far Leaf grades are averaging less than 2, while Micronaire is averaging 4.3 at Lubbock and 4.5 at Lamesa.

      Most of the concern about 2011-crop quality has centered on Staple length and as expected, these readings have trended below what growers are accustomed to seeing.

      So far Length readings for Lamesa territory cotton are averaging 34.25 for the season. Lubbock territory cotton is averaging a little better at 34.69, although this figure is improving slightly as higher higher yielding cotton has started entering the system. For the week ended November 10 the Lubbock office averaged a 35.08 staple length.


AgriLife Extension to conduct Master

Marketer Short Course in Plainview

      The Texas AgriLife Extension Service will conduct a Master Marketer Short Course in early 2012 in the Museum of the Llano Estacado on the Wayland Baptist Campus.

      Dates for the four Master Marketer Short Course sessions in Plainview are: January 17-19, February 1-2, February 15-16 and February 29-March 1.

      The Museum of the Llano Estacado is located at 1900 West 7th Street in Plainview.

      Enrollment for the Plainview Master Marketer course will be limited to 60 participants. Dr. Jackie Smith, AgriLife Extension economist at Lubbock and one of the workshop's coordinators urges those planning to attend to register early while there is still room.

      Individual registration is $300 and due at the first class. Register online at The keyword is Master Marketer.

      A brochure and more information are available from local AgriLife Extension agents or by calling Smith at 806-746-6101. "This program is designed for agricultural producers and agribusiness leaders experienced in marketing commodities who have some knowledge of the futures and options markets," said Dr. Jackie Smith, AgriLife Extension economist at Lubbock and a workshop coordinator.

      Smith said the nine-day, 64-hour course consists of intensive marketing training that focuses on cotton, feed grains, livestock and wheat.

      "The whole purpose of the course is to expose participants to a wide range of topics that will enhance their marketing skills from a real-world standpoint," Smith said. "We use many case-study examples and augment them with simulated problems to get the point across in the most straight-forward way possible."

      Smith said some of the key topics covered during the course include developing a marketing plan, basic and advanced marketing strategies, fundamental and technical analysis, marketing discipline and the impact of weather on commodity markets.

      The course instructors represent AgriLife Extension, several universities and private industry.

      "This award-winning program has been taught in Texas 23 times at 10 different locations and boasts almost 1,000 graduates," Smith said. "This will be its first time to be taught in Plainview though, so producers should make plans now to take advantage of this rare opportunity."


China takes close look at U.S. Cotton Belt

Friday, November 11, 2011 From the National Cotton Council

      Eight Chinese cotton industry leaders recently visited the U.S. Cotton Belt, including Lubbock, to learn more about the U.S. cotton industry.

      The Oct. 31-Nov. 5 CCA visit to the U.S. Cotton Belt was the third since the establishment of the U.S.-China Cotton Leadership Exchange Program by the NCC and the CCA. The exchange between the two countries was established by a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2006 that promised cooperation between the countries' cotton industries.

      Sponsored by the NCC, Cotton Council International (CCI) and The Cotton Foundation, the tour had stops in Washington, D.C., Memphis, Tenn., and Lubbock, Texas, and included briefings by the NCC, CCI and USDA. The delegation participated in a Mid-South cotton industry seminar on cotton production, processing and logistics, toured a Memphis warehouse operation, a W. Tennessee farm and gin operation and the USDA classing office in Bartlett, Tenn.

      While in the Lubbock area, the group participated in a Southwest cotton industry seminar on cotton production, processing and logistics. They also toured cotton farms, a gin, a compress and a cottonseed oil mill as well as the USDA Agricultural Research Service Ginning Research Laboratory.

      The CCA, which was modeled after the NCC to include all segments of the Chinese cotton industry, is a non-profit organization voluntarily established by cotton farmers; cotton farmer cooperatives; enterprises engaged in cotton production, purchasing, processing and operation; cotton textile enterprises; cotton research institutes; and other institutions. The CCA is supervised by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and reports to the All-China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives.