Less Than 2,000 Tickets Remain for

"Celebrate Cotton" Game

Friday, September 13, 2013                By Mary Jane Buerkle

      If you have not purchased tickets for the September 21 "Celebrate Cotton" game, when the Texas Tech Red Raiders host Texas State, time is of the essence because at press time, only about 1,900 seats were left to be sold.

      The game starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, September 21, and tickets can be purchased by calling (806) 742-TECH and asking for the Cotton Game discount, or by visiting http://www.texastech.com/promocode and entering the code COTTON2013. Tickets are $35 each.

      The Red Raiders' win over Texas Christian University on Thursday puts them at 3-0 for the year and 1-0 in Big 12 play, and excitement has continued to build throughout the season after the hire late last year of former Red Raider quarterback Kliff Kingsbury as head coach.

      "This bodes very well for the first sellout of the 2013 football season at Jones AT&T Stadium," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "A winning team coupled with buzz over the Celebrate Cotton event should translate to a packed stadium for Saturday's game."

      Verett noted that with this weekend being Family Weekend at Texas Tech, there is even more opportunity to tell cotton's story and promote the industry among people who might not realize the crop's impact on the local, regional and state economy.

      Cotton will be everywhere before and throughout the game, from displays at Raider Alley and around the stadium to promotion, special graphics and fun cotton facts during the game.

      Special gameday T-shirts will be distributed (first-come, first-serve!) and cotton bales will line each entrance to the stadium, each with signage talking about what the cotton in that bale can make or how it impacts our economy.

      Presenting sponsors for Celebrate Cotton include United Cotton Growers; FiberMax; Warren CAT; AgTexas Farm Credit Services; PhytoGen; City Bank; Deltapine; and All-Tex Seed.

      Equipment for display will be provided by Hurst Farm Supply, Warren CAT, and Wylie Implement & Spray Centers.

      The day before, Sept. 20, the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Harvest Luncheon, presented by Bayer CropScience, at Plains Cotton Cooperative Association. Keynote speaker will be Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.

      Additional cotton-related events happening that week include the Texas Independent Ginners Association Golf Tournament, Cotton Incorporated Breeders' Tour, the Texas Cotton Association's Flow Meeting, and several field days.

      For more information, please call PCG at (806) 792-4904. Spread the word! Let's make this game a huge success for cotton and SELL OUT THE JONES!


September District Estimates: Slight

Decrease in Production for High Plains

Friday, September 13, 2013                By Mary Jane Buerkle

      High Plains production estimates slipped slightly from the August report, with the National Agricultural Statistics Service now projecting that area cotton growers will produce 2.5 million bales, down from 2.575 million bales in the August report. The Northern High Plains area decreased by 280,000 bales, but the Southern High Plains increased by 205,000.

      Yield per acre increased for the Northern High Plains, from 777 pounds in August to 856 in the September estimate. The Southern High Plains remained about the same, at 607 pounds in August to 610 in September.

      However, the most notable difference between the two areas is in harvested acres. The Northern High Plains is projected to harvest 415,000 acres, down from 630,000 acres in the August report. The Southern High Plains is expected to harvest 1.385 million acres, up from 1.23 million in the August report.

      Statewide, the production number remained the same at 4.1 million bales. The nationwide estimate dropped to 12.27 million bales, down more than 1 percent from last month and down almost 26 percent from 2012. Markets did not react much to the report, with December futures still hovering around 84 to 85 cents at press time.

      Producers across the High Plains are beginning to prepare for harvest, with several terminating irrigation. Dryland fields are fair for the most part, and the lack of recent rain continues to stress these fields. Insect pressure remains low. Overall, harvest activity is expected to be about a week to two weeks later than usual, so a rain could still be of great benefit to the crop and certainly good for the soil.


Letkemans Bring in First Bale of 2013

for Gaines County, South Plains

Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 By Dustin Wright, Seminole Sentinel

      Seminole farmer Billy Letkeman fell short of winning Gaines County's prestigious "First Bale of Cotton" honor in both the 2008 and 2012 growing seasons, falling just behind past winners Dwight and Pam Thomason and his uncle, John K. Fehr, respectively.

      But this year, the title belongs to him, wife Jessi and son Lincoln, as the local producers brought Gaines County's first bale of cotton for the 2013 growing season into the lobby of Seminole's Commercial State Bank at 11:27 a.m. Thursday morning.

      "The third time is the charm I guess," said Billy Letkeman, whose father, William Letkeman, won the honor in 1992. "It's an awesome feeling (to have the first bale of cotton) after trying for it several times.

      Gaines County's first bale of cotton for the 2013 growing season, ginned by Seminole's Ocho Gin, weighed in at 520 lbs.

      Letkeman's first bale, which was harvested on Wednesday, was grown from Deltapine 1219 seed on irrigated land near the intersection of FM 1788 and CR 426, in southeastern Gaines County.

      Cotton harvested for the first bale was machine picked and not defoliated, according to Letkeman. The harvested cotton was delivered to Ocho Gin around 7 a.m. Thursday morning to begin the ginning process.

      According to Ocho Gin General Manager, David Spradlin, the bale was completed at 11:05 a.m. Thursday morning.

      A sampling of the harvested cotton, which came off of five of 385 acres of planted cotton at the farm site, will be sent to the USDA's Lamesa Classing office for classing verification.

      "I knew I had a shot at (the first bale) on Monday morning," said Billy Letkeman, "After knowing no one had turned in the first bale already and seeing how some of my (cotton) bolls were opening up."

      The 2013 first bale of cotton, which will remain on display inside the CSB lobby through Wednesday, will be sold in a "Chinese Auction" on Thursday (September 19) as part of festivities associated with the 2013 Gaines County Ag/Oil Appreciation Day celebration.

      The annual event, which will be held at the Gaines County Civic Building in Seminole, is hosted by the Seminole Area Chamber of Commerce.

      According to sources with the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. office in Lubbock on Thursday morning, the Letkeman's first bale is also believed to be the first bale of cotton processed within their 41-county growing area.


Area Field Days Scheduled

      Mark your calendars for the following area field days:

      Sept. 16 – Deltapine Consultants Field Day, 8 a.m.-noon, Chapman Farm, Lorenzo

      Sept. 17 – Bayer CropScience Field Day, Levelland

      Sept. 17 – Deltapine Grower Field Day, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Nichols Farm, Seminole

      Sept. 18 – All-Tex/Dyna-Gro Field Day, 9 a.m.-noon, 2200 West Avenue, Levelland (lunch served at noon)

      Sept. 19 – Deltapine Grower Field Day, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Chapman Farm, Lorenzo

      Sept. 24 – Americot Field Day, 10 a.m., Agrisearch, Inc. Farm, located about four miles west of Edmonson in northern Hale County

      Sept. 24 – Bayer CropScience Field Day, Crosbyton

      Sept. 24 – Bayer CropScience Field Day, Sudan

      Sept. 24 – Deltapine Grower Field Day, 3 p.m., Doug Jost Barn, St. Lawrence

      Sept. 25 – Deltapine Grower Field Day, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Ricky Cude Barn, Lamesa

      Sept. 25 – PhytoGen Field Day, 10 a.m., Ralls (meet at Triumph Seed)

      Sept. 26 – Bayer CropScience Field Day, Brownfield

      Sept. 26 – Deltapine Grower Field Day, TBD, Sudan

      Oct. 1 – Bayer CropScience Field Day, Woodrow

      For more information on the All-Tex Field Day, call Cody Poage at (806) 894-4901.

      For more information on the Americot Field Day, call Americot at (806) 793-1431 or (888) 678-SEED.

      For more information on the Bayer CropScience Field Days, call your local Bayer sales representative, Regional Agronomist Daniel Olivier at (806) 281-4931, or Regional Agronomist Kenny Melton at (806) 786-5088.

      For more information on the Deltapine field days, call Eric Best at (806) 790-4646.

      For more information on the PhytoGen field day, call Brad Ferguson at (806) 252-7209.

      If you have a field day you would like to add to this schedule, please call Mary Jane Buerkle at (806) 792-4904 or email maryjane@plainscotton.org.


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School Districts Receive Grant from

America's Farmers Grow Rural Education

      Four schools in PCG's service area - Dawson ISD, Kress ISD, New Deal ISD, and Shallowater ISD – are winners of America's Farmers Grow Rural Education grants, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund.

      The program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, gave farmers in 1,271 eligible counties the opportunity to nominate school districts for a grant to enhance math and science education. More than 73,000 farmers submitted nominations to show community support for their area school districts.

      Nominated school districts then completed grant applications in the spring.  During the summer, a panel of educators reviewed and evaluated them based on merit, need and community involvement.  The strongest submissions were sent to the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education Advisory Council. The Advisory Council, comprised of farmer-leaders with an interest in agriculture, education and community, selected the winning grant applications from this pool of finalists.

      As part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund to partner with farmers to strengthen rural communities, Grow Rural Education's goal is to give farmers the opportunity to be community advocates and improve the educational experience of the next generation.

      To view a complete list of winning school districts, official rules and America's Farmers Grow Rural Education information, visit http://www.growruraleducation.com. A list of eligible states, counties and CRDs can also be found on the site.