High Plains Production Estimates Drop

Friday, September 19, 2014                By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The National Agricultural Statistics Service projects that area cotton growers will produce 3.865 million bales in 2014, but a weather system that has parked over the Southwest may be putting a damper on the region's production potential.

      The September 11 NASS estimate is a 535,000-bale decrease from their August estimates for the High Plains. The Northern High Plains area decreased by 45,000 bales, but the Southern High Plains, where a large amount of dryland acreage became stressed due to hot temperatures and lack of precipitation, decreased by 490,000 bales.

      Yield per acre increased for the Northern High Plains, from 775 pounds in August to 839 in the September estimate. The Southern High Plains dropped from 611 pounds in August to 545 in September.

      The Northern High Plains is projected to harvest 575,000 acres, down from 650,000 acres in the August report. The Southern High Plains is expected to harvest 2.52 million acres, down from 2.63 million in the August report. The abandonment rate for the Northern High Plains now stands at an estimated 30%, compared to 18% for the Southern High Plains.

      Statewide, the production number dropped to 6.6 million bales, down from 7.1 million in the August report. The nationwide estimate now is at 16 million bales, down 900,000 bales from the August report, but up 28 percent from 2013. December futures remain in the mid-60 cent range at press time.

      All statistics aside, the potential for the 2014 High Plains cotton crop could be affected by significant precipitation from what now is known as Tropical Rainstorm Odile, which caused flooding and damage as Hurricane Odile when it made landfall in the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico and moved inward over the southwestern United States.

      "After all these years of drought, we welcome the rainfall, but the timing is not optimal for this crop," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "These final stages of heat unit accumulation are critical for moving this cotton along, and the cool, wet weather could encourage regrowth, which we certainly don't want, along with causing a host of other issues."

      Although full-scale harvesting activity isn't expected for a few more weeks, the symbolic first bale on the Texas High Plains was harvested on September 5 by Eldon and Tina Dyck of Gaines County and delivered to West Texas National Bank. The bale weighed 505 pounds and was ginned at Oasis Gin in Seminole.


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PCG Board of Directors To Meet October 8

Friday, September 19, 2014                By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The next regular meeting of the Board of Directors for Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, October 8, at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture, located at 1121 Canyon Lake Drive in Lubbock. Lunch will be served at the conclusion of the meeting.

      Anthony Tancredi, CEO of Allenberg Cotton Co., will give a cotton market report and Craig Brown with the National Cotton Council will give a legislative update. Dr. Steve Lyons, meteorologist-in-charge for the National Weather Service in San Angelo, will provide a weather outlook. Dr. Lyons has had several interesting jobs over the years, including 12 seasons at The Weather Channel as their severe weather and hurricane expert.

      Other items include 2015 Business Director Nominations, the Nominating Committee Election and an update on the status of PCG finances through the first three months of the fiscal year.

      For more information, contact PCG at (806) 792-4904.


Master Marketer Program to begin in

January in Amarillo

Friday, September 19, 2014                From AgriLife TODAY

      Agriculture producers must develop better marketing skills to improve their bottom line in times of greater market price volatility, and the Master Marketer Program is the place to get that training, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist.

      The next Master Marketer Program will be held in Amarillo. It will begin Jan. 21-22 and continue Feb. 4-5, Feb. 18-19 and March 2-3. All meetings will be held at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 6500 W. Amarillo Blvd.

      A free futures and options leveling workshop for anyone who doesn't think they are ready for intermediate to advanced level training will be held on Jan. 20 before the program begins, said Dr. Steve Amosson, AgriLife Extension economist in Amarillo.

      Amosson will be leading a group of instructors from within the agency, several universities and private industries to put on the third Master Marketer Program in Amarillo.

      Master Marketer is a national award-winning risk-management educational program where participants learn how to develop marketing plans, evaluate marketing alternatives, manage production and price risk, and execute a risk management and marketing plan, he said.

      A wide range of topics is covered to enhance marketing/risk management skills, Amosson said. Case studies, group discussions and simulation exercises will be used to provide experience with real tools that can be used on individual farm and ranch operations.

      The 64-hour curriculum is offered as four, two-day sessions held every two weeks. It is the most intensive marketing/risk management training provided by Extension anywhere in the U.S., Amosson said.

      The final date to register is Jan. 10, but Amosson said the class has always filled up in advance when it has been in Amarillo and he has never seen interest this high, this early. Only 60 participants can be accepted.

      The registration fee for the program is $340, which includes noon meals and educational materials. The training in the Amarillo area will focus on feed grains, cotton, wheat and livestock, he said.

      Program costs are partially covered by grants from sponsors, including the Texas Corn Producers Board, Texas Farm Bureau, the Cotton State Support Committee, Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Board and the Texas Wheat Producers Board.

      For more detailed information about the Master Marketer Program, including evaluation results from previous classes and registration brochure go to http://mastermarketer.tamu.edu.       Individuals can register by filling out the brochure and sending a check or use the preferred method to register online by credit card at https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/.


Area Field Days Scheduled

      Mark your calendars for the following area field days:

      Sept. 23 – FiberMax/Stoneville – Crosby County Field Day, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Billy Tidwell Farm (lunch served)

      Sept. 23 – Deltapine Grower Field Day, 4 p.m., Doug Jost Barn, St. Lawrence

      Sept. 24 – FiberMax/Stoneville – Oklahoma Flat Field Tour, 9 a.m.-10 a.m, Albus Farm (coffee and donuts served)

      Sept. 25 – FiberMax/Stoneville – Cochran County Field Tour, 9 a.m.-10 a.m, Patterson Farm (coffee and donuts served)

      Sept. 30 – Americot/NexGen Field Day, 9 a.m., Texas A&M AgriLife Research Station, Halfway (Hwy 70, 14 miles west of Plainview)

      Oct. 1 OR Oct. 2 (both days same) – Americot/NexGen Field Day, 9 a.m., Texas Tech Research Farm, Loop 289 and North Quaker Avenue (burritos, donuts and coffee served at 8:30)

      Oct. 10 – FiberMax/Stoneville – Idalou Field Day, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m, Evitt Farm (lunch served)

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

      For more information on the Americot/NexGen Field Day at Halfway, call Jerry Montgomery at (806) 577-8011 or Gary Sanders at (806) 777-4535. To RSVP to the Americot/NexGen Field Days in Lubbock, contact your local Americot representative: Scott Stockton, (806) 790-7749; Gary Sanders, (806) 777-4534; Maci McCabe, (806) 577-0846; Jimmy Newsom, (806) 790-6654; or Richard Percival, (806) 790-6704.

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

      For more information on the FiberMax/Stoneville field days, call Tim Culpepper at (806) 789-6593 for north of Lubbock or Kenny Melton at (806) 786-5088 for south of Lubbock. 

      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.



"Celebrate Cotton" Game Successful

Friday, September 19, 2014                By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Cotton took center stage on Saturday, September 13, at the third annual "Celebrate Cotton" game at Jones AT&T Stadium as the Texas Tech Red Raiders hosted the Arkansas Razorbacks. Although the final score certainly did not please Red Raider fans, the event was a tremendous success for the High Plains cotton industry, highlighting cotton's importance to an audience of more than 60,000 at the game, and even more who watched the nationally televised broadcast.

      Plains Cotton Growers would like to thank the marketing team at Texas Tech Athletics, Red Raider Sports Properties, the nine presenting sponsors for the game, the businesses with equipment displays, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech, Lone Star State Bank, and everyone who participated in the planning, execution and support of the event.

      "The Celebrate Cotton Game was a great opportunity to showcase the significant importance of the whole cotton industry to our region and state," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "Equally important was to highlight the partnership with Texas Tech University and the cotton research performed there.  We are hopeful that we can continue these events in the future."