Good Weather Boosts Harvest Activity

Friday, October 19, 2012                        By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Warm, dry weather has ramped up harvesting on the High Plains over the past week, while some growers are still assessing freeze damage and others are just beginning to spray defoliants on what cotton the extremely early October 8 freeze didn't terminate.

      A late-season hail storm last Friday, October 12, also hurt some acreage in northern Lubbock, Hale, and Swisher Counties. Damage was reported to be spotty, but certainly significant to those affected.

      Forecasts call for continued good weather next week, although there is a slight chance of rain Sunday evening into Monday morning.

      As of Thursday, the USDA AMS Cotton Division Cotton Classing Office in Lubbock had processed 85,591 bales for the season. Almost 55 percent of the cotton has received color grades of 31, 21, or 11. Staple length for the season is averaging 34.32.

      "Our quality has been improving over the last couple of weeks and we believe it will continue to improve as we harvest the remainder of this crop," PCG's Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "However, the early freeze did some significant damage to cotton that had the potential to be very good, and we could see some quality and yield impacts."

      Cotton prices have inched back up over the past week, with December futures at just over 77 cents as of noon Friday, October 12.


"Ag in the Bag" Program Teaches

Elementary Students About Agriculture

Friday, October 19, 2012                        By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Almost 1,500 fourth-grade students from Lubbock and the surrounding areas watched Ringle Jingle the dairy cow being milked, saw how their jeans were made, and learned how agriculture impacts their daily lives at the annual "Ag in the Bag" program, held earlier this week at the Texas Tech Livestock Arena in Lubbock.

      Presenters at the event included Plains Cotton Growers, Texas Tech Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Farm Bureau, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas Peanut Producers Board, Sorghum Checkoff, Texas Corn Producers, Texas Grain Sorghum Producers, Texas Department of Agriculture, Southwest Dairy Farmers and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

      "The Ag in the Bag program is really important to our school," Abernathy teacher Lea Ann Lust said in a story written by Rebecca Gotti at Ag Day Lubbock. "We bring all of our fourth graders every year. We've gone as long as this program has existed and they've invited us."

      A committee of volunteers plans the event, which is free to the schools because of financial support from sponsors. Students from Lubbock ISD, Lubbock Cooper, Frenship, Lorenzo, Abernathy, Ackerly Sands, New Deal, New Home, Christ The King Cathedral School, and some home schools attended the program.

      "It's so important to reach out to our kids to teach them where their food and fiber comes from," committee president Lynn Simmons with South Plains Electric Cooperative said.

      Sponsors of the program included Bayer CropScience/FiberMax/Stoneville, Lubbock County Farm Bureau, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, South Plains Electric Cooperative, Texcraft Inc., Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, AgTexas Farm Credit Services, Plains Cotton Growers, Capital Farm Credit, Texas Tech Federal Credit Union, City Bank Texas, Monsanto/Deltapine, Sorghum Checkoff, Texas Corn Producers, Southwest Dairy Farmers, Gandy's, Premier Media Group, Cornerstone Group, Inc., Taylor Insurance, Lyntegar Electric Cooperative, Lubbock County Soil and Water Conservation District, Hurst Farm Supply, Farmers Cooperative Compress, and the Texas Peanut Producers Board.


"Drop Your Jeans" For A Good Cause

      The Tech Retail Association at Texas Tech University is asking people to "drop their jeans" for a good cause as part of Cotton Incorporated's Cotton. From Blue to Green. denim recycling program, a call to action to recycle old denim and give it a "new life" by converting it into natural cotton fiber insulation.

      Collection points are at the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., office, the Lubbock County Farm Bureau Office at 52nd Street and Avenue Q or at 98th and Indiana, and at several places on the Texas Tech campus through October 31.

      Cotton Incorporated and Bonded Logic, the leading manufacturer in natural cotton fiber insulation, partnered for the 2006 inaugural launch of the Cotton. From Blue to Green. denim recycling program.

      In addition to working with students on college campuses, the denim recycling program continues to gain momentum by partnering with retailers, consumers and corporate responsibility programs throughout the nation. All denim collected through the Cotton. From Blue to Green. program is recycled into UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation, and a portion of this insulation, up to approximately 250,000 square feet, will be distributed in 2013 to communities in need.

      To date, the Cotton. From Blue to Green.™ program has received nearly 850,000 pieces of denim, resulting in over 1.7 million square feet of insulation. That's approximately 531 tons of denim diverted from landfills. And denim drives on campuses make a big impact! Over 100,000 pieces of denim have come directly from college denim drives.

      For more information on how to get involved, contact Emily Thompson at Learn more about the program at


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