Significant Rainfall Blankets Most of

High Plains Region

Friday, July 19, 2013                           By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Rarely does July bring about the kind of precipitation that fell across the High Plains earlier this week, but in a year that so far has shaped up to be anything but typical, it was a pleasant surprise.

      A slow-moving system spun over much of Texas, Oklahoma and eastern New Mexico, dumping more than six inches of rain in some portions of the PCG service area between Sunday and Thursday. Most of the region received at least an inch over the course of the week, according to the West Texas Mesonet.

      The rain could not have been more timely for many producers trying to maintain their cotton crop, as it gave those with irrigated acreage the opportunity to give their systems a rest and perked up what dryland acreage remains. No severe weather was reported, and the precipitation fell slowly.

      "It's like night and day," Monti Vandiver, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent in Integrated Pest Management for Bailey and Parmer counties, said about the impact of this rain event at the July 19 PCG Advisory Group meeting. "It's certainly not enough to finish (the crop) – we will need another rain event in three weeks or so to finish it off right – but we all feel a lot better."

      PCG believes that based on crop reports from growers, gin managers, and other experts, about 60 to 65 percent of the 3.7 million estimated planted acres are still in the game for 2013 at this point. A significant amount of dryland acreage failed because of dry conditions at the beginning of the growing season, and severe weather has destroyed cotton acreage in multiple counties across the region. However, the crop overall certainly is expected to improve after this week.

      The cooler temperatures that accompanied the rain event are not expected to have much of a negative effect on crop development. Temperatures warmed into the upper 80s by Friday and are expected to climb back into the 90s by next week.

      Markets did not seem to react too much to the weather event, with December futures still hovering around the 85-cent mark.

      Washington also was relatively quiet this week with regard to continued farm bill talks, although House and Senate Ag Committee leaders did meet to discuss beginning the conference process.    


Southwest Cotton Producers to See

San Joaquin Valley Agriculture

Tuesday, July 16, 2013     From the National Cotton Council

      Thirteen cotton producers from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas will observe cotton and other agricultural operations in California's San Joaquin Valley the week of July 22 as part of the National Cotton Council's 2013 Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) Program.

      Sponsored by Bayer CropScience through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, the P.I.E. program is in its 25th year of helping its U.S. producer participants improve yields and fiber quality.  The program aims to help cotton producers boost their overall operation's efficiency by: 1) gaining new perspectives in such fundamental practices as land preparation, planting, fertilization, pest control, irrigation and harvesting and 2) observing the unique ways in which their innovative peers are using current technology.

      Upon completion of this year's four tours, the P.I.E. program will have exposed more than 1,050 U.S. cotton producers to innovative production practices in regions different than their own.

      The participating cotton producers are Kansas – Jason Dunn, Santata; Oklahoma – Carson Vinyard, Altus; and Texas – Micah Evans, Roby; Austin Harwell, Robstown; Jake Kalina, Miles; Wade Klepac, Sinton; Donald Kirksey, Lorenzo; Richard Lange, Norton; Bill Luckett, Matador; Ryan Mimms, Ransom Canyon; Kevin Mitchell, New Home; Brandon Rodgers, Littlefield; and Dusty Swanberg, Harlingen.

      In this third of four 2013 P.I.E. tours, the group will begin their activities on July 22 in Fresno with a briefing from the California Cotton Ginners/Growers Association and then a tour of Bayer CropScience's research facility. They also will tour Don Cameron's Terra Nova Ranch in Helm as well as other cotton operations in the Tranquillity area.

      The next day, the group will see Gilkey Enterprises' cotton operations in Corcoran before traveling to Laton for a tour of Jovie & Mark Rosa Farms and then tours of other area farms. On the 24th, the participants will travel to Bakersfield for tours of Fanucchi Farms and the Sun Pacific Juicing Plant & Cold Storage.

      This season, Mid-South producers observed operations in Georgia on June 23-28; Southeast producers traveled to Louisiana and Mississippi on July 7-12; and Far West producers will tour Texas on August 4-9.


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West Texas Agricultural Chemicals Institute

Annual Conference Set for September 10

      The annual meeting of the West Texas Agricultural Chemicals Institute has been scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Scottish Rite Temple - Learning Center, located at 1101 70th Street in Lubbock (South Loop 289 and Interstate 27).

      This year represents the 61st meeting of WTACI, an unincorporated organization of dealers, industry representatives, agricultural producers, scientists, educators, and agribusiness members who support education and research programs promoting safe and effective use of agricultural chemicals and protection and preservation of the area's natural resources.

      Topics to be discussed at the conference include pesticide application and laws and regulations, salinity remediation, an integrated pest management update, and much more. A detailed list of presentations and speakers will be online soon at TDA and CCA continuing education units will be available.     

      Pre-registration will be online soon at Registration forms have been mailed. On-line registration fees are $75 for conference attendees and $300 for a booth and must be completed or postmarked by August 31. On-site registration will begin at 7 a.m. the day of the conference and will cost $95 for attendees and $325 for booth sponsors.      Lunch will be provided as part of the registration fee.

      Opportunities also exist to contribute to the WTACI Scholarship Fund, which has provided more than $60,000 in scholarships to students majoring in agricultural fields at many Texas universities.

      Contact Jason Woodward at 806-632-0762 or for questions about the program and CEU's. If you have trouble or questions regarding registration contact David Pointer, 806-746-4021 or


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SWCA, Texas Ag Forum to Host Southwest Ag

Issues Summit in September

The Southwest Council of Agribusiness and the Texas Ag Forum will host the Southwest Ag Issues Summit on September 8-10 at the Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City.

The Summit is an opportunity for agricultural leaders to discuss key issues facing agriculture. The event also provides the opportunity to network with fellow agricultural influencers in the industry and is an effort to help unite the voices of agricultural leaders.

Keynote speaker for the dinner event on September 9 will be cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell. Find out more about Waddie at

Platinum sponsor for the event is the Farm Credit Bank of Texas. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available; please contact Mitchell Harris at

Registration, which includes all meals and programs, is $325/attendee or $450 for an attendee and a spouse through July 31; prices increase after that. Optional networking opportunities, including wine tasting, golf, and poker tournament packages are available as well.

More information about the Southwest Ag Issues Summit, including how to register and a tentative agenda, is at