High Plains Growers Preparing for Harvest

Friday, September 7, 2012                        By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Growers across the High Plains are beginning to put the finishing touches on this year's crop, and some area gins reportedly will be in operation in the next week to ten days.

      Although overall, the 2012 growing season has been more kind to producers than 2011, high temperatures have seared the area over the past few months. So far, Lubbock has recorded 24 days at or over the 100-degree mark.

      In addition to the high temperatures, rain gauges in a significant portion of the High Plains area have recorded only 50 percent or less of average rainfall for the year to date. Currently, the West Texas Mesonet site located three miles west-northwest of Lubbock has recorded 7.14 inches for 2012. Average rainfall is about 18 inches per year.

      The condition of the crop remains mixed. Caitlin Jackson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent for Crosby County, said cotton there is beginning to open up and is fairly good. Some areas of the county have benefited from rainfall over the summer, and the Mesonet station at White River Lake has recorded more than 16 inches of rain so far this year.

      "There are going to be some fields with decent yields, and some of our dryland fields are not too bad,' she said. "We're pretty optimistic."

      Dawson County is split, said Gary Roschetzky, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent for that county. Cotton is beginning to open on the north side of the county and looks better than expected, but the south side of the county is suffering and a lot of the dryland acreage "never really came around," he said.

      Other parts of the High Plains continue to experience a struggle as well. With subsoil moisture lacking in much of the area, irrigation is simply nursing the crop along. Many growers are terminating irrigation in preparation for harvest.

      Integrated pest management agents report that they are monitoring the presence of Kurtomathrips on the High Plains. These are highly destructive pests that can quickly defoliate cotton plants, causing damage similar to that of spider mites and possibly compromising boll size and yield.


"Celebrate Cotton" Game Scheduled for

Sept. 15; Special Ticket Pricing Available

Friday, September 7, 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 at the game (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.

      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!


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Grand Opening Scheduled for Newly

Renovated Lamesa Classing Office

      The USDA, AMS Cotton and Tobacco Program is pleased to announce the grand opening of its newly renovated cotton classification facility in Lamesa on Monday, September 24.

      This facility has been expanded to more than 21,000 square feet and features state-of-the-art electronic cotton classification instruments, automation devices, rapid conditioning units, upgraded mainframe computer equipment, and energy conservation features not found anywhere else in cotton classification.

      The facility will house up to 24 High Volume Instruments that can operate around the clock, when necessary, to provide accurate and timely cotton classification data to producers from the surrounding production territory.

      The grand opening will be commemorated with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m., and will feature Congressman Mike Conaway, ranking officials from the AMS Cotton and Tobacco Program, representatives from multiple cotton trade organizations, and several public officials from the city of Lamesa. An open house will follow the grand opening ceremony, and facility tours will be offered throughout the day as well as light snacks and beverages.

      Please RSVP to ralph.cummings@ams.usda.gov and courtesy copy darryl.earnest@ams.usda.gov by Thursday, September 20, if you can attend and also include how many guests you plan to bring.


Area Field Days Scheduled

      Mark your calendars for the following area field days:

      September 12-13 – Deltapine Retailer Trainings, Lorenzo

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

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

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

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

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

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

      September 25 – Americot Field Day, 11:30 a.m., Adobe Walls Gin in Spearman for shrimp boil, then to Travis Patterson's field for variety demonstrations

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

      September 26 – Americot Field Day, 11:30 a.m., Carson County Gin near White Deer for shrimp boil, then to Wade Ritter's field for variety demonstrations

      September 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

      September 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 All-Tex Field Day, call Cody Poage at (806) 894-4901.

      For more information on the Americot field days, call Jerry Montgomery at (806) 577-8011.

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

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

      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.


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:

      September 12 – 8:30 a.m., Tahoka Housing Authority, 1400 Avenue K, Tahoka

      September 12 – 9 a.m., Hereford Community Center, 100 Avenue C, Hereford

      September 12 – 9 a.m., Happy State Bank, 100 N. Main Street, Stratford

      September 12 – 10 a.m., Coliseum, 2201 West American Boulevard, Muleshoe

      September 12 – 10:30 a.m., Swisher County Annex Building, 310 West Broadway, Tulia

      September 13 – 8 a.m., USDA Service Center, 221 Euclid Street, Panhandle

      September 13 – 8:30 a.m., American State Bank Conference Room, 1323 Tahoka Road, Brownfield

      September 13 – 8:30 a.m., USDA Service Center, 1410 South Alan Bean Road, Wheeler

      September 13 – 9:30 a.m., USDA Service Center, 800 North Main Street, Perryton

      September 13 – 6 p.m., USDA Service Center, 814 South Second Street, Suite B, Canadian

      September 13 – 7 p.m., USDA Service Center, 12125 Frederic Avenue, Pampa

      September 14 – 11 a.m., USDA Service Center, 304 South Garland, Plainview

      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.