High Plains Harvest Nears Completion

Friday, November 30, 2012              By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Very little cotton currently remains on the stalk on the High Plains, and gins are running continuously to ensure that the 2012 crop is processed in a timely fashion. Some gin managers expect to be finished by Christmas while others will continue on into the new year.

      Although the latest figures from the National Agricultural Statistics Services will not be released for another couple of weeks, PCG estimates a crop of about 3.4 million bales, based on reports from area gins.

      Area classing offices remain very busy, as Lubbock has surpassed the 1.7 million bale mark and Lamesa is approaching 500,000. Quality remains good, with more than 80 percent of cotton classed in the Lubbock office at color grade 11 or 21 for the week ending Thursday. Average leaf grade for the week was 2.49 and average staple was 35.43. Average strength was 29.97 g/tex and micronaire 3.78 for the week.

      However, bark remains an issue at almost 30 percent. Typically, bark is in the 10 percent range, and last year's average was 16.6 percent. This could be caused by a wide array of factors, but it primarily depends on the condition that cotton is in when it is harvested. The early freeze may have had an impact.

      December cotton continues to hover around the 70 cent mark while March futures are slightly higher at just more than 73 cents.



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Make Plans to Attend Beltwide Cotton

Conferences in January

Friday, November 30, 2012 From the National Cotton Council

      Monday, December 17, is the last day for discounted room rates will be offered by the Marriott Rivercenter/Riverwalk hotels in San Antonio. Those are the headquarter hotels for the 2013 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, set for January 7-10, 2013.

      The National Cotton Council urges cotton industry members, university and USDA researchers, Extension personnel, consultants, equipment and service providers – anyone with a stake in a healthy U.S. cotton production sector – to make your housing reservations now for this world-class information forum.

Housing and Conferences registration instructions, along with a schedule of events and general information are at http://www.cotton.org/beltwide.

The Conferences will open on the afternoon of January 7 with the Consultants Conference in the Marriott Riverwalk Hotel. That session is open to everyone and includes a noon luncheon. The program begins at 1 p.m., and attendees will get to hear such timely updates as:

--Dr. Jim Bordovsky with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Plainview, discussing many of the issues his group has been involved in for both drip and pivot irrigation.

--Dr. Jeff Gore, Mississippi State University, Stoneville, Miss., reporting on insecticide performance.

--Weed scientists from the Mid-South and Southeast, who will elaborate on various practices that may be described as the "Second Generation of Weed Resistance Management" and that are an important part of an integrated pest management program.

The Production Conference General Session begins on Tuesday January 8, in the Lila Cockrell Theatre (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center).

Three Texas A&M University faculty members have been invited to address the general session. Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas State Climatologist will provide his thoughts related to past and current weather patterns and what to expect for the 2013 season. Dr. Gaylon Morgan, State Extension Cotton Specialist, will provide a review of the 2012 season for the entire Cotton Belt. Dr. Paul Baumann, state leader for AgriLife Extension weed science activities, will provide an overview of herbicide resistance in Texas.

John Maguire, National Cotton Council, Washington D.C., will provide a Washington update. Joe Nicosia, Allenberg Cotton Company, Cordova, Tenn., will end the general session with a 2013 market outlook.

Production Conference Workshops will run from 10:30 a.m. January 8 until noon January 9.  Topics include:

Varieties: New varieties will be discussed in New Developments From Industry and variety testing will be discussed in the Extension Cotton Specialist Workshop.

Conventional Cotton: Back to the Future II Workshop: Breeders, weed scientists, entomologists, agronomists and economists discuss the use of conventional cotton varieties.

Future Technology and Tools Workshop: Industry updates on 2,4-D and dicamba technology and Dr. Peter Dotray, Weed Scientist – Lubbock will discuss past, present, and future weed management systems. Tolerance of varieties to dicamba and glufosinate will be discussed in the Extension Cotton Specialists Workshop.

Fertility: Cotton Soil Management and Plant Nutrition Special Session – Fertilizer Stabilizers; Sensor-based fertility will be discussed in the Precision Ag Workshop.

Precision Ag: Practical and Profitable Practices for Precision Agriculture Workshop

Social Media: Speakers will discuss how to effectively utilize social media in your business.

Register now at http://www.cotton.org/beltwide.



Study Finds High Plains Crop Production

Supports 103,000 Jobs

      An economic analysis conducted by Texas Tech University and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension found crop production supported more than 103,000 jobs and generated more than $12.2 billion in economic activity in 2010 in the Texas High Plains region.

      Those findings come from a new, first of its kind economic model that can now be used to measure the economic effects of different policy options such as changes in water regulations, energy costs, and federal farm programs according to one of the leaders of the research, Darren Hudson, Ph.D, the Larry Combest Endowed Chair for Agricultural Competitiveness at Texas Tech.

      "We've always known crop production was a huge part of the economy of this region, but now we have a comprehensive model that can measure in dollars and jobs the total amount of economic activity generated by growing, selling and processing crops in the Texas High Plains," Hudson said at a press conference held today in Lubbock.

      The measures in the study reflect the impact of a wide variety of economic activity including production costs, such as buying seed, fertilizer, fuel, labor and equipment, as well as post-production processing of crops in the area, including livestock and dairy usage, cotton gins, grain elevators and other relevant processing.

      Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Program Specialist Bridget Guerrero, Ph.D, a lead researcher on the study, elaborated that the study also includes the effects of the spending by businesses and individuals who earn income from all of these activities. 

      "This is a unique approach to this kind of analysis that isn't done anywhere else in the country," Guerrero said. "We're really on the forefront of being able to determine the full impact of agricultural production to the regional economy, and not just a piece of it."

      Economists will use this newly developed model to assess the economic impact of potential policy changes, including changes in regulations on using groundwater for irrigating crops.

      The study used a five-year average (2006-2010) of crop production in 41 counties in the Texas High Plains. The crops analyzed were alfalfa, corn, corn silage, cotton, peanuts, grain sorghum, sorghum silage and wheat.

      The research project was launched in April 2010 through financial contributions from Texas commodity groups. Representatives from five water districts and six commodity groups serve on a steering committee for the project.

      Funding for this research was made possible by North Plains Groundwater Conservation District, Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., Texas Corn Producers Board, High Plains Underground Water Conservation District, Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District, Select Milk Producers, Texas Association of Dairymen, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Texas Farm Bureau, Texas Seed Trade Association, Texas Sorghum Producers, Texas Wheat Producers, and Texas Peanut Producers Board.



Cotton Incorporated Launches

Road to the Runway Campaign

Friday, November 30, 2012                 From The Cotton Board

      Cotton Incorporated recently announced plans for their second annual Cotton's 24 Hour Runway Show that will take place in South Beach, Miami from 8 p.m. (EST) March 1, 2013 through 8 p.m. (EST) March 2, 2013. This follows last year's groundbreaking debut showcasing the vast fashion versatility of cotton.

      The 24 Hour Runway Show featured a different cotton outfit every minute for 24 hours. The event was the first of its kind and garnered nation-wide media attention from outlets such as MTV and Entertainment (E!) Network.

      Leading up to this year's event, Cotton Incorporated will execute a campaign deemed "Road to the Runway" as a way to showcase the diverse cotton styles across America. The Road to the Runway phase launched on November 12, 2012 and ends January 7, 2013. During this time, participants can submit images of their favorite cotton style for a chance to win a weekly prize of $1,440 and compete to be one of six Grand Prize winners to win $2,500 and a VIP trip to experience Cotton's 24 Hour Runway Show in South Beach. Cotton Incorporated's Road to the Runway Style Search Squads will be going to 34 local markets to help uncover some of the hottest cotton street styles, but submissions can also be uploaded to http://www.people.com/cotton24hours.

      To capture and share the best looks, Cotton Incorporated is partnering with People StyleWatch and has enlisted six high-profile fashion bloggers to help uncover the intricacies of the local cotton styles in their region, provide accessible fashion tips and insight, bring a local flavor to Cotton's 24 Hour Runway Show and rally consumers in their cities to show their cotton styles.

      From January 8, 2013 to February 12, 2013, Cotton Incorporated is asking America to decide which contestant best represents the cotton style for their region. All voters will be entered for a chance to win $1,440 each week. Then, from February 13, 2013 to February 27, 2013, consumers can "like" their favorite region's cotton style Pinterest Board on Facebook at Facebook.com/cotton for a chance to win a trip to South Beach for a shopping spree accompanied by a Cotton stylist.

      The event brings to life the company's iconic "The Fabric of Our Lives¨" television campaign, which currently features a day in the life of Camilla Belle and Emmy Rossum, including their own favorite cotton fashions.

      The Road to the Runway will culminate at Cotton's 24 Hour Runway Show, which will feature 1,440 cotton looks – one per minute. "Cotton's 24 Hour Runway Show" proves that cotton, more than any other fiber, can offer the versatility to suit every lifestyle, at any budget at any time of day. We're excited to prove this yet again with a whole new selection of styles that represent every corner of America," says Ric Hendee, Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing, Cotton Incorporated.