Texas Cotton Production Expected to

Almost Double from 2011 to 2012, USDA Says

Friday, August 10, 2012                       By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The United States Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service released their first estimates of cotton crop production for 2012 in the state, and although lack of moisture still plagues a significant portion of the NASS-estimated 4.26 million acres planted on the High Plains, production is expected to be back near the 10-year average at 4.35 million bales. That's more than double the 1.8 million bales produced on the High Plains in 2011.

      Statewide, the NASS report estimates that Texas growers will produce 6.7 million bales of cotton from 6.8 million acres planted. In 2011, 3.5 million bales of cotton were produced in Texas.

      Yield per acre is estimated at 859 pounds per acre in the northern counties of the PCG service area, and 566 pounds per acre in the southern counties. Statewide yield is estimated to be 618 pounds per acre.

      Although these production figures seem optimistic, current conditions remain extremely mixed, with many producers experiencing similar situations to last year. Abandonment on the High Plains likely will rise to above the 18 to 20 percent average in the next few weeks if it does not rain and temperatures stay around the 100-degree mark.

      Dryland acreage especially is struggling in many areas, but cotton planted on irrigated acreage is hanging on fairly well, for the most part. Some fields show tremendous promise, with plants that have developed well throughout the season thus far, but some fields already have been at cutout for several days.

      The cotton market dipped after the bearish estimates were released Friday morning. December futures had risen to 76 cents, but closed Friday at just more than 73 cents.

      NASS estimates that the United States will produce 17.65 million bales of cotton, up 651,000 bales from the July report and 13 percent more than the 2011 crop.

      "Much remains to be seen from this 2012 crop, but if these dry, hot conditions persist, it will not be economically viable for some producers to finish their season on a cotton stripper or a picker in all of their fields," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "That being said, there's some excellent-looking cotton out there, and there aren't many on the High Plains who were able to say that about their crops last year, so we remain optimistic about this year's harvest."


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"Celebrate Cotton" Game Scheduled for

Sept. 15; Special Ticket Pricing Available

Friday, August 10, 2012                       By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Have YOU made plans to attend a Texas Tech football game this season?

      Plains Cotton Growers has teamed up with Texas Tech Athletics and 10 corporate partners supporting the cotton industry to bring you the "Celebrate Cotton" Game as the Red Raiders host New Mexico on Saturday, September 15, at Jones AT&T Stadium. Game time is currently scheduled for 6 p.m.

      We are pleased to offer you a special ticket price of just $20 per ticket for this game! Please visit http://bit.ly/CelebrateCotton and enter the Promo Code COTTON2012. Follow the prompts to ensure you have a seat at the game. You also can call (806) 742-4412 or (888) GO-BIG12 and mention the promo code COTTON2012 to receive your special discount.

      Cotton will be everywhere throughout the game, from displays at Raider Alley and around the stadium to promotion, special graphics and fun cotton facts during the game. Special gameday T-shirts will be distributed (first-come, first-serve!) and cotton bales will line each entrance to the stadium, each with signage talking about what the cotton in that bale can make or how it impacts our economy.

      Presenting sponsors include Plains Cotton Cooperative Association; United Cotton Growers; FiberMax; Texas Ag Coop Trust; NexGen; AgTexas Farm Credit Services; City Bank; Lubbock Avalanche-Journal; Deltapine; and All-Tex.

      For more information, please call PCG at (806) 792-4904. Spread the word! Let's make this game a huge success for cotton!


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 August and September. 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 coming up in the next two weeks are as follows:

      August 13 – 10:30 a.m., Randall County AgriLife Extension office, 200 N. Brown Road, Canyon

      August 14 – 8:15 a.m., USDA Service Center, 1103 Eubank, Matador    

      August 14 – 8:30 a.m., Robertson Restaurant, U.S. Highway 83, Wellington

      August 14 – 3 p.m., USDA Service Center, 622 W. Seventh Street, Dalhart

      August 14 – 5:30 p.m., Kent County Courthouse Basement, 101 N. Main, Jayton

      August 15 – 8 a.m., USDA Service Center, 312 Williard Avenue, Spur

      August 15 – 10 a.m., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Center, 6500 Amarillo Boulevard West, Amarillo

      August 15 – 1 p.m., PYCO Industries, 2901 Avenue A, Lubbock

      August 16 – 9 a.m., Stonewall County Courthouse, 510 N. Washington Street, Aspermont

      August 16 – 6:30 p.m., Ralls Community Storm Shelter, 821 Tilford Street, Ralls

      August 21 – 7:30 a.m., KNT Cafˇ, 123 Commercial Street (Highway 60), Miami

      August 21 – 10 a.m., Armstrong County Activity Building, Highway 207 South, Claude

      August 21 – 2:30 p.m., USDA Service Center, 1301 South Main, Seminole

      August 23 – 9:30 a.m., Vega Banking Center, 101 Main Street, Vega

      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 website at http://www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov.


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Third Quickbooks Course Scheduled in

Plainview Due to High Demand

      PLAINVIEW – Two short courses scheduled by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service on QuickBooks Pro 2012 for Aug. 13-14 in Lubbock and Sept. 4-5 in Amarillo filled rapidly, so a third has been scheduled for Aug. 23-24 in Plainview, according to the presenters.

      The additional course will be held at the AgriLife Extension office in Hale County, 225 Broadway St., Plainview.

      The trainings will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day at each location, said DeDe Jones, AgriLife Extension risk management specialist in Amarillo, who will coordinate the event in that city. Jay Yates, AgriLife Extension risk management specialist in Lubbock, will coordinate the Lubbock course.

      QuickBooks Pro is a double-entry business accounting program often used by agricultural lenders and producers, Jones said. In the two-day course, participants will learn to enter transactions into the program and analyze costs and profits. No prior computer experience is necessary.

      Registration for the two-day course is $125 and includes computer use and teaching materials. Couples are encouraged to attend and will be charged only one registration fee if they share a computer. Class size is limited to 15 people to provide a hands-on experience for all participants, Jones said.

      The Amarillo and Lubbock courses are full, but those who are still interested in taking the course in Plainview should RSVP by Aug. 20. Payment is due upon arrival on the first day of the course.

      For more information or to register, call Yates at 806-746-6101 or email jayates@ag.tamu.edu or Jones at 806-677-5667 or dljones@ag.tamu.edu.