NASS: High Plains Projected to Produce

2.575 Million Bales in 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013                         By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Although the 2013 High Plains cotton crop has had several positive moments, the latest estimates from the United States Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service reflect the dry start and the impact of severe weather thus far, forecasting a 50 percent abandonment rate for the crop. This compares to 44 percent abandonment for the 2012 crop and 66 percent for the 2011 crop.

      As for production, NASS estimates that High Plains growers will produce 2.575 million bales in 2013 from 1.86 million acres. If that number holds, it will be a 12 percent decrease from the 2.93 million bales produced in the 2012 crop.

      Statewide, the NASS report estimates that Texas growers will produce 4.1 million bales of cotton from 3.3 million acres harvested. In 2012, 5 million bales of cotton were produced in Texas.

      Yield per acre is estimated at 777 pounds per acre in the northern counties of the PCG service area, and 607 pounds per acre in the southern counties. Statewide yield is estimated to be 596 pounds per acre.

      NASS estimates that the United States will produce 12.5 million bales of cotton, down 25 percent from 2012.

      Further validating the USDA report was the certification report released by the Farm Service Agency on Thursday. Although their numbers also are preliminary, their report states that 3,695,087 acres were planted on the High Plains with 1,969,215 still standing for a 47 percent abandonment rate.

      However, the key surprise from the FSA report was the breakdown between irrigated and dryland planted acreage. The FSA report states that High Plains cotton growers certified 1,369,454 acres as irrigated and 2,325,633 as dryland, making the split 37 percent irrigated and 63 percent dryland, a higher than expected reduction in total irrigated acreage. Although the certification process is not yet complete, it is doubtful that there are enough irrigated acres that remain to be certified to make much of a difference in those numbers.

      With the abandonment rate for irrigated acreage at 24 percent and dryland acreage at 60 percent, that does not bode well for production potential, since the remaining acres must average two bales to the acre on irrigated ground and one bale to the acre on dryland just to get to 2012 production levels.

      "Although we've been concerned about the 2013 High Plains crop being late, it's gained a lot of ground lately with these spotty yet timely rains and warm weather," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "However, we still have a lot of time left, and the rest of August going into September will be critical to finishing out this crop."

      Markets reacted over the week, as December futures vaulted to over 90 cents for the first time from planting to date for the High Plains crop.


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Students Graduate From

Texas International Cotton School

      Nineteen students from across the United States and from three countries around the world graduated from the Texas International Cotton School, held August 5-15 at the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute of Texas Tech University. The school, held annually in Lubbock, is now in its 25th year. Since its inception in 1989, there have been a total of 556 students from 59 countries in the world and 16 states in the United States.

      The school is a collaboration between the Texas cotton merchants who make up the Lubbock Cotton Exchange and FBRI faculty and staff. The intensive program allows students the opportunity to learn about cotton from field to fabric, taught by experts from across the United States. Topics include seed breeding, farm production, harvesting, ginning, warehousing, merchandising, and textile manufacturing. Multimedia classroom teaching is augmented by use of the multiple laboratories at the Institute and by visits throughout the cotton industry infrastructure that is clustered around Lubbock.

      All aspects of U.S. and global trade of cotton are covered, so the students obtain an understanding of what is required to successfully participate in the U.S. cotton market and to deliver the cottons needed in a diverse U.S. and export market. They learn about the important quality attributes of cotton fibers and how these translate into processing efficiency and textile product quality. Students also have the opportunity to interact with members of the Lubbock Cotton Exchange and others in the agribusiness community at social events.

      Ray Ragsdale, current president of the Lubbock Cotton Exchange, is pleased with both the quantity and quality of this year's school.

      "The quality of instruction provided by the array of industry and scientific experts was excellent," Ragsdale said. "The school provides a great environment for raising the students' awareness and understanding of Texas cotton and how it serves the needs of global textile markets. Its value to the Texas cotton industry is revealed by the strong support given the school by the entire merchant community in Texas."

      Graduates include Addissu Ayele, Texas Tech; Ratan Chopra, Texas Tech; Loren Davis, Texas Tech; Yvonne Dock, USDA, Washington, D.C.; Ryan Gregory, Texas Tech; Robert Imel, Texas Tech; Tanya Jackson, Texas Tech; Kristie Keys, Texas Tech; Erick Leslie, Lov-Cot Warehouse, Lubbock;

Sumedha Liyanage, Texas Tech; Daniel Mata, Telares de Palo Grande, Venezuela; Ruvini Mathangadeera, Texas Tech; Dilmurod Mirzaakhmedov, SISC Uzprommashimpeks, Uzbekistan; Deepika Mishra, Texas Tech; Bryan Norrington, USDA, Washington, D.C.; Erin Turner, Bayer CropScience, Lubbock; Volnei Vieira, SLC Agricola, Brazil; Cody White, CoBank, Lubbock; and Travis Witt, Texas Tech.

      For more information on the Texas International Cotton School, visit

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The Cotton Board Approves $80 Million Research & Promotion Budget

Tuesday, August 13, 2013                 From The Cotton Board

      During its Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, The Cotton Board reviewed and voted to recommend Cotton Incorporated's proposed 2014 budget of $80 million to the Secretary of Agriculture. The budget and plan, along with The Cotton Board's recommendation, will be forwarded to the United States Department of Agriculture for final approval.

      The Cotton Board elected Gary Ross as its Chairman for 2013/2014. Ross, an importer from Yardley, Pennsylvania commented on his election, saying, "From the turn row to the turn style, from the heartland of America to the retail malls in our cities, cotton is the fiber that binds producers and importers together. We need strong, profitable producers who patronize our retail establishments and importing companies who deliver what consumers want – cotton. It is the circle of life for our industry." Ross is the Vice President of Global Fashion and Home Supply Chain for the New York-based company Avon Products, Inc.

      The full slate of new Cotton Board officers is as follows: Gary Ross, Importer from Yardley, Pennsylvania, Chairman; David Grant, Producer from Garysburg, North Carolina, Vice-Chair; Aaron Barcellos, Producer from Los Banos, California, Secretary; Janet Ydavoy, Importer from Feasterville, Pennsylvania, Treasurer.

      The Cotton Board voted to recommend to the Secretary of Agriculture approval of a proposed $80 million budget for the 2014 Cotton Research and Promotion Program, developed for and to be carried out by Cotton Incorporated. The proposed budget represents a 3.6% decrease from their 2013 funding level. The budget and plan for 2014 proactively positions Cotton Incorporated to (1) respond to cotton's recent loss of market share both in the U.S. and globally; (2) continue research and education programs related to sustainability; (3) continue to advance new and existing technologies; and (4) examine opportunities for cost reduction both on the farm and in terms of mill processing.

      Cotton Incorporated's proposed budget reflects many of the recommendations developed in March by The Cotton Board. "Our thoughtful planning, our stewardship and a unified front are qualities we must maintain to help insure a thriving U.S. cotton industry for our future," said Chairman Ross.


NRCS to Host Local Work Group Meetings

      The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts will host Local Work Group meetings. The purpose of the public meetings is to receive input from farmers, ranchers, local agencies, organizations, local agricultural leaders, businesses, and other individuals with an interest in natural resource concerns.

      Area meetings through the end of the month are as follows:

      August 20 – 7:30 a.m., KNT Cafˇ, 123 Commercial Street (Highway 60), Miami

      August 20 – 8 a.m., USDA Service Center, 200 West Taylor, Morton

      August 20 – 9 a.m., Bailey County Electric Co-op Association Building, 610 East American Blvd., Muleshoe

      August 20 – 6 p.m., USDA Service Center, 814 South 2nd Street, Suite B, Canadian

      August 21 – 8 a.m., USDA Service Center, 312 Willard Avenue, Spur

      August 21 – 10:30 a.m., Swisher County Annex Building, 310 West Broadway, Tulia

      August 27 – 9 a.m., Vega Service Center, 906 Main, Vega

      August 28 – 9 a.m., USDA Service Center, 801 South Bliss, Suite 104, Dumas

      For more information, contact the local USDA-NRCS office in your county, or access the information on the Texas NRCS website at