High Plains Cotton Acreage Down From 2012

Friday, June 28, 2013                          By Mary Jane Buerkle

      High Plains producers planted less cotton than they did in 2012, according to the June 28 USDA Planted Acreage Report.

      USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service reports that 3.7 million acres of High Plains land were planted to cotton this year, about a 12 percent decrease from the 4.17 million acres planted in 2012. This number is right in line with PCG's projection as published in the March 29 issue of Cotton News, which was based on feedback from member gins and growers.

      The northern portion of PCG's service area saw more of an acreage shift, from just more than 1 million in 2012 to 860,000 in 2013, a 16 percent decrease. Planted acreage was down 10 percent in the Southern High Plains, from 3.15 million acres in 2012 to 2.84 million in 2013.

      The drop was expected by many analysts, although these numbers actually are closer to the five-year average for the PCG service area.

      "This acreage report is significant, but does not necessarily foretell production," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "Since those surveys, we have lost quite a bit of cotton acreage on the High Plains to severe weather events, and we certainly are still in a drought situation. A few timely rains could make all the difference in the world for the 2013 crop."

      Lubbock County Extension Agent Mark Brown reported earlier this week that about 28,000 acres of cotton in southeast Lubbock County were destroyed on June 17 alone. Several other areas in the PCG service region are reporting crop loss, but official numbers still have not been finalized.

      Thanks to some much-needed precipitation, overall progress of this year's High Plains cotton crop is closer to what could be called a typical year, but growers still face challenges. Additional rain still is needed across the entire area in order to sustain the crop.

      Temperatures have exceeded the 100-degree mark over most of the High Plains in the past week, but forecasts predict cooler temperatures and chances of rain over the next several days.

      Statewide, USDA reports that 5.7 million acres of upland cotton were planted, a 13 percent decrease from 2012 when Texas producers planted 6.55 million acres. Nationwide, planted acreage for upland cotton is estimated at 10 million, down 17 percent from 2012.

      The June Acreage Report is based on producer surveys of actual planted acreage information. It is the market's first glimpse of how many acres have actually been planted to various crops during the current growing season and sets the stage for evaluating where the crop stands at this point. Up until now acreage discussions have been based on survey results designed to get a handle on producer intentions before they had actually put a seed in the ground.


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Cotton Industry Seeks Volunteer Leaders

Friday, June 28, 2013                             By Shawn Wade

      The success of the High Plains cotton industry, like any group effort, is directly tied to the willingness of qualified individuals to volunteer to serve in various leadership positions. To identify these volunteers, the High Plains cotton industry caucuses each year with other cotton groups within Texas to identify producers interested in serving as a volunteer leader.

      PCG encourages all qualified individuals interested in representing the High Plains as a representative to the Cotton Board, National Cotton Council, or Cotton Incorporated to contact PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett for more information.

      Each year, a variety of volunteer positions within the NCC and Cotton Incorporated are filled directly through the industry's caucus process. In addition to naming representatives to the NCC and Cotton Incorporated, PCG and the Texas cotton industry also work together to identify and nominate qualified individuals to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for possible appointment as a Member or Alternate on the Cotton Board.

      Qualified individuals interested in serving on the Cotton Board, which oversees the highly successful U.S. Cotton Research & Promotion Program, also are encouraged to contact Verett at the PCG office in Lubbock to request additional information. PCG's telephone number is 806-792-4904.

      To be a qualified producer nominee for the Cotton Board, an individual should be actively engaged in cotton production at the time of nomination, be committed to the mission of the Cotton Board and the Cotton Research and Promotion Program, and have demonstrated leadership skills and experience.

      "Whether it is a nomination to serve on the Cotton Board or appointment to a leadership position within the National Cotton Council or Cotton Incorporated, the membership of Plains Cotton Growers has proven to be fertile ground for leaders within our industry," Verett said. "Our industry owes much to the dedicated men and women who step forward to serve their fellow producers. We look forward to extending that tradition of leadership in the years ahead."

      Editor's Note: The Cotton Board seeks to promote diversity and ensure equal opportunity and inclusion for all those who qualify for nomination and appointment to the Cotton Board regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, disability, socio-economic status, religion or sexual orientation.