2012 County Production Figures In;

PCG Area Produced 2.93 Million Upland Bales

Friday, May 17, 2013                           By Mary Jane Buerkle

      To officially close what certainly was a less-than-stellar year for High Plains cotton, the National Agricultural Statistics Service issued final 2012-crop production figures showing that High Plains growers produced about 2.93 million bales of cotton last year, an increase from the 1.81 million 480-pound bales produced during the 2011 growing season and very close to the 2.92 million bales projected by NASS in their January 2013 report.

      Planted acreage in 2012 was a little down from 2011, totaling almost 4.2 million acres. Unfortunately, producers were only able to bring about half of that to harvest at 2.3 million acres. However, that number was significantly higher than the 1.54 million acres High Plains producers reported harvesting in 2011.

      The abandonment rate from initial plantings was 44 percent for the 2012 crop. The 2011 crop had the highest abandonment rate in PCG's history at 66 percent.

      According to the final county level production estimates released by NASS on May 10, the Plains Cotton Growers 41-county service area accounted for almost 60 percent of the 5 million bales of Upland cotton produced in Texas last season.

      On a national basis, Texas growers accounted for 30 percent of the 16.5 million Upland bales produced in the United States in 2012, maintaining their position as the No. 1 cotton producing state in the nation. Georgia was second with 2.91 million bales.

      A complete rundown of 2012 crop statistics for planted and harvested acreage, yield per harvested acre and total bales produced in PCG's 41-county service area is included in the table that accompanies this article.

      Lubbock County edged out Hale County to be the top-producing county on the High Plains, with 251,100 480-pound bales of cotton and averaging 635 pounds per harvested acre. Overall yield per harvested acre on the High Plains averaged 603 pounds in 2012, up from 577 in 2011.

      Joining Lubbock County in the top ten cotton-producing counties in the High Plains Region (reported in 480-lb bales) were: Hale, 250,700; Gaines, 245,200; Crosby, 214,400; Floyd, 214,300; Lynn, 205,000; Hockley, 192,500; Terry, 186,400; Dawson, 160,300; and Lamb, 145,400.

      As for yield, Hutchinson County was the top-yielding county for 2012, producing 1,291 pounds per harvested acre. Ranking second and third in yield per harvested acre were Moore County (931 pounds), and Carson County (929 pounds). Castro and Floyd rounded out the top five High Plains counties.

      Cooler temperatures have delayed planting of the 2013 crop, but activity has increased over the past week, mostly on irrigated acreage. Soil moisture remains short. Some portions of the PCG service area received rainfall this week, but amounts were under a half-inch for the most part.

      A complete listing of the 2012 Upland cotton production totals for Texas and other states is available on the NASS website (http://www.nass.usda.gov). Just click on the "Quick Stats" link to search for the data you want to find.

 

2012-crop Upland Cotton Production

Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. 41-County Service Area

County

Planted
(Acres)

Harvested
(Acres)

Yield per

Harv. Acre

Production
(Bales)

Andrews

Armstrong

Bailey

87,000

27,500

470

26,900

Borden

45,400

10,900

335

7,600

Briscoe

39,900

22,600

639

30,100

Carson

51,400

29,900

929

57,900

Castro

60,100

48,800

855

86,900

Cochran

146,200

61,700

478

61,400

Crosby

231,000

172,200

598

214,400

Dallam

Dawson

335,300

160,300

480

160,300

Deaf Smith

19,900

10,600

475

10,500

Dickens

32,500

14,250

546

16,200

Floyd

213,500

122,700

838

214,300

Gaines

330,000

222,500

529

245,200

Garza

47,900

37,600

429

33,600

Hale

276,800

157,200

765

250,700

Hansford

Hartley

Hemphill

Hockley

288,000

159,700

579

192,500

Howard

Hutchinson

14,400

11,600

1,291

31,200

Lamb

203,500

102,600

680

145,400

Lipscomb

Lubbock

294,000

189,800

635

251,100

Lynn

336,200

227,200

433

205,000

Martin

181,300

31,100

687

44,500

Midland

27,900

14,100

555

16,300

Moore

31,900

25,200

931

48,900

Motley

Ochiltree

Oldham

Parmer

60,500

40,400

726

61,100

Potter

Randall

4,600

2,400

680

3,400

Roberts

2,800

2,200

545

2,500

Sherman

33,700

32,000

776

51,700

Swisher

111,800

56,300

637

74,700

Terry

277,500

189,000

473

186,400

Yoakum

152,900

79,000

609

100,300

1-N Comb. Co. *

75,300

51,900

703

76,000

1-S Comb. Co. *

156,000

17,300

513

18,500

 

4,169,200

2,330,550

603

(weighted)

2,925,500

Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service
= Zero Production or production aggregated into Combined Counties

 

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Farm Bill Moves Forward; Floor Time

Scheduled for House and Senate

Friday, May 17, 2013                           By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The House and Senate Ag Committees both approved their markups of a new five-year Farm Bill this week, and the next stop for the legislative packages will be their respective floors. The Senate bill is scheduled for floor consideration on Monday, while the House bill should be debated on the floor in June.

      For cotton, the Senate bill provisions include the Stacked Income Protection Plan (STAX) without a reference price. For all other crops except cotton, this version provides for both price loss protection and revenue protection, which is important to many of the other Southern crops. Other than the addition of price loss protection, the bill overall is very similar to the legislative package the Senate passed last year.

      The House Ag Committee mark, as last year, provides price loss protection as well as revenue as a choice for all crops except cotton, and with higher levels of price loss protection than the Senate bill. The House STAX provision, like the Senate bill, does not include a reference price.

      However, an additional feature on the House STAX provision is two years of a totally decoupled transition payment while STAX is being implemented, a feature strongly supported by PCG. The transition payment would be 70 percent of cotton base acres for 2014 and 60 percent of cotton base acres for 2015.

      "This will ensure that our cotton producers are protected while those who will administer the STAX program make their final preparations for this new risk management strategy," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said.

      Of the two bills, PCG prefers the House Ag Committee language, although they contain many similar provisions. Both bills will still face harmful amendments during floor debate and ultimately have to be passed by the full bodies. PCG, working with the Southwest Council of Agribusiness and the National Cotton Council, is fully prepared to launch efforts against these amendments and advocate for sound farm policy that is fiscally responsible, equitable and effective.

      "Crafting a five-year farm bill that meets the needs of all of our agricultural producers nationwide certainly is not an easy task, and we commend both the Senate Ag Committee and the House Ag Committee for the tremendous amount of time and effort they have spent in developing their bills," Verett said. "We look forward to continuing this momentum and urge Congress to act quickly and get this vital piece of legislation passed."

 

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FSA Administrator Urges Producers to

Enroll in DCP/ACRE Before Deadline

      Farm Service Agency Administrator Juan M. Garcia on Thursday encouraged farmers and ranchers to enroll for the 2013 Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment Program (DCP) or the Average Crop Revenue Election Program (ACRE) before the deadline. Producers who wait until the last minute to sign up could face increased waiting time in FSA county offices.

      "We understand that producers have gotten busy, but they can't forget to visit their county office and sign up for DCP or ACRE," said Garcia. "Just as farmers and ranchers plan their spring plantings, producers should plan to schedule an appointment to visit their USDA Service Center at the earliest possible time. It's best to complete the paperwork now rather than to stand in line the day before the deadline," advised Garcia.

      The sign-up for both programs began Feb. 19, 2013. The deadline to sign up for ACRE is June 3, 2013. The DCP sign up period ends Aug. 2, 2013.

      The 2013 DCP and ACRE program provisions are unchanged from 2012, except that all eligible participants in 2013 may choose to enroll in either DCP or ACRE for the 2013 crop year. This means that eligible producers who were enrolled in ACRE in 2012 may elect to enroll in DCP in 2013 or may re-enroll in ACRE in 2013 (and vice versa).

      For more information about the programs and loans administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or http://www.fsa.usda.gov.