Harvest Decision Depends On

More Than Expected Lint Price

Friday, August 24, 2012                           by Shawn Wade

      As the High Plains approaches the critical home stretch of the 2012 production season, many cotton producers across the region are anticipating low non-irrigated yields. Most of these fields will eventually be evaluated by crop insurance and assigned an expected level of production that will require a decision from the cotton producer on how to move forward.

      The producer's decision to make at that point is to accept the appraised production figure, foregoing harvest and destroying the crop, or to go ahead and carry the crop to harvest, settling the final crop loss claim based on the actual harvested production amount.

      Assuming the appraised or actual yield is below 150 pounds per acre on drought impacted, non-irrigated cotton, neither path would adversely impact a grower's ability to participate in the risk-sharing programs offered by the seed and technology providers serving the region.

      It is no secret that cotton prices have fallen significantly since planting time.  Deciding to harvest based only on the expected value of the cotton lint that could be harvested, however, fails to take into account all of the variables involved in determining the net income potential of this type of cotton.

      In a time of increased operating expenses and reduced crop prices it is important that growers do their homework to ensure they head down the path that makes the best economic sense and positively impacts their operation financially.

      The following are some of the important questions that growers need to consider when deciding to harvest low yielding cotton:

      --How much cotton will/could be realistically harvested?

      --What is the expected market value of the lint based on the         expected quality of the fiber that will be produced?

      --How much will it actually cost to harvest the crop?

      --How much will it cost to gin the cotton?

      --How much cotton seed will be harvested?

      --What is the expected market value of the cotton seed?

      Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Risk Management Specialist Jay Yates of Lubbock, noted that depending on the interaction between lint quality, lint prices and cottonseed value a producer could see a positive economic return from cotton yielding as low as 50 pounds per acre.

      "Deciding whether or not to harvest a low yielding crop is something that needs to be given some serious consideration," Yates said. "The interaction of expected lint prices for the crop, plus the additional income that will be derived from cottonseed makes it worth the time it takes to run the numbers."

      Yates added that he is working with Plains Cotton Growers staff to put together a Microsoft Excel-based spreadsheet to assist growers in evaluating their situation. The spreadsheet is expected to be available for download from the South Plains Profitability project web page, which can be found at http://agrilife.org/southplainsprofit/, by the end of August.

      To illustrate how even low yielding cotton can generate a positive economic return this year, Yates noted that starting with a base value for cottonseed at $260 per ton, a producer who harvests and sells cotton for $0.59 per pound would generate a positive economic return of just more than $11 per acre at a yield level of only 50 pounds.  This scenario also assumes a minimum harvest cost of $20 per acre for stripping and ginning cost of $3.10 per hundredweight with a 22% turn-out.

      Ramp the yield up to 80 pounds per acre and the net return nearly triples to $29.93 per acre and $59,854 dollars of much-needed revenue across 2,000 acres of cotton.


Football Season is HERE!

Celebrate Cotton with Texas Tech!


Saturday, September 15

Texas Tech vs. University of New Mexico

6 p.m. – Jones AT&T Stadium


SPECIAL TICKET PRICE of $20 with promo code



Online: http://bit.ly/CelebrateCotton

Phone: (806) 742-4412 or (888) GO-BIG12

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Find out more about the game at http://www.plainscotton.org/CelebrateCotton.html



First Bale Ginned on Texas High Plains

Friday, August 24, 2012                       By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The first bale from the 2012 Texas High Plains cotton harvest has been ginned and is on display at First United Bank in Seminole.

      John K. Fehr delivered the area's first cotton to Ocho Gin in Gaines County on Friday, August 17. The bale was finished around 9:30 p.m. and delivered to the bank at 9:39 p.m. the same evening. The bale will remain on display until it's auctioned at the Gaines County Ag/Oil Appreciation Day on September 20.

      Although originally thought to be the earliest "first bale" on record for Gaines County and the High Plains, Shelby Concotelli, president of the Seminole Chamber of Commerce, said that a review of their records revealed that there were two other times the first bale had been ginned on August 17. Last year's first bale was ginned August 30, also in Gaines County.

      The bale weighed 477 pounds and the cotton was a FiberMax 9170 variety. The official classification was done in Memphis, TN. The bale had a Color grade of 22-1, Leaf grade 2, with a 35 Staple. Other quality measurements for the bale were 3.9 Micronaire, and 26.6 g/tex Strength.   



ACP, Cotton Foundation Leadership Meet

Friday, August 17, 2012     From the National Cotton Council

      Farm policy and key environmental issues were the focus of the joint meeting in Nashville, Tenn., of the American Cotton Producers, chaired by Clyde Sharp, an Arizona producer, and the Cotton Foundation, chaired by Sledge Taylor, a Mississippi producer/ginner.

      NCC Chairman Chuck Coley provided a report that included an update on the Peru Countervailing Duties investigation. He also asked for flexibility and unity throughout the current farm bill debate. NCC staff provided a thorough review of the farm bill debate status and the provisions of the Senate-passed and House Agriculture Committee-passed versions of the 2012 farm bill. Producers discussed possible cotton program transition options that may be necessary if STAX is not available for the 2013 crop.

      A panel of EPA and crop protection company representatives, along with NCC staff, provided a detailed overview of the issues surrounding pollinator protection and its impact on product registrations. This issue has risen to be one of the most critical environmental issues for registrants and the EPA. NCC staff provided updates on spill prevention control and counter measures and the NCC-conducted Field Print Calculator pilot projects. They also reviewed recent discussions with Brazilian government and industry officials, US government, and Congress with regard to the World Trade Organization case.

      ACP members relayed topics for consideration by the planning committee for the 2013 Beltwide Cotton Production Conference. Producers also discussed National Cotton Ginners Assoc. recommendations on module averaging and longer producer gin runs.


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Area Field Days Scheduled

      Mark your calendars for the following area field days:

      Sept. 4 – Texas Tech/Texas AgriLife Research Field Day, 8 a.m., Quaker Farm, 400 N. Quaker

      Sept. 12-13 – Deltapine Retailer Trainings, Lorenzo

      Sept. 14 – Deltapine Field Day, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Levelland/Brownfield (exact location TBD)

      Sept. 18 – Deltapine Field Day, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Steve Chapman Farm, Lorenzo

      Sept. 19 – Deltapine Field Day, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Deltapine Facility in Aiken/Floyd County

      Sept. 20 – Deltapine Field Day, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Nichols Farm, Gaines County

      Sept. 24 – Deltapine Field Day, 4 p.m., Doug Jost Farm in St. Lawrence

      Sept. 25 – All-Tex Field Day, 9:30 a.m., All-Tex, 2200 West Avenue, Levelland (lunch served at noon)

      Sept. 25 – Deltapine Field Day, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., AGCARES in Lamesa

      Sept. 26 – Bayer CropScience Field Day (for attendees located south of Lubbock), 9:30 a.m., Idalou Breeding Station, 3.2 miles east of Idalou on U.S. Highway 62/82, next to Apple Country Orchards

      Sept. 27 – Bayer CropScience Field Day (for attendees located north of Lubbock), 9:30 a.m., Idalou Breeding Station, 3.2 miles east of Idalou on U.S. Highway 62/82, next to Apple Country Orchards

      For more information on the Deltapine field days, call Eric Best at (806) 790-4646.

      For more information on the All-Tex Field Day, call Cody Poage at (806) 894-4901.

      For more information on the Bayer CropScience field days, call (806) 765-8844.

      If you have a field day you would like to add to this schedule, please call Mary Jane Buerkle at (806) 792-4904 or email maryjane@plainscotton.org.


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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 over the next two weeks are as follows:

      August 28 – 9 a.m., USDA Service Center, 801 S. Bliss, Suite 104, Dumas

      September 4 – 9:30 a.m., USDA Service Center, 109 NE 14th Street, Lamesa

      September 5 – 9 a.m., Plains Community Building, 1006 Avenue G, Plains

      September 6 – 9 a.m., USDA Service Center, 200 West Taylor, Morton

      September 6 – 9 a.m., Wells Fargo Bank Meeting Room, 216 West Main, Post

      September 6 – 5:30 p.m., USDA Service Center, 410 Lone Star, Silverton

      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.