Finish Line Approaching for High Plains Crop

Friday, January 2, 2015                       By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Although about 90 percent of the High Plains cotton crop is out of the field, cool, wet weather has prevented growers from pulling what remains, prolonging what already has been a delayed harvest and ginning season.

      Snow and ice fell over most of the PCG service area this week, which certainly was a welcome sight in terms of improving soil moisture for the 2015 crop.

      As is typical late in the season, quality has slipped slightly. Almost 55 percent of cotton classed in the Lubbock office this past week was color grade 11 or 21, compared to the season average of 71 percent. Bark for the week was 36.2 percent, compared to 21.9 percent for the season, and leaf grades were 3.13 this week, compared to the season average of 2.9 percent. As of Friday morning, the Lubbock and Lamesa offices combined had classed 2,795,050 samples.

      In market news, March was trading just below 60 cents at press time. December futures also were down at about 64 cents.


TAWC Water College Set For January 21

      The Texas Alliance for Water Conservation will host their inaugural Water College on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock.

      The Water College will be a one-day meeting beginning at 8:30 a.m. and wrapping up around 4:30 p.m. The program is free of charge and lunch is provided along with a CEU credit.

      For more information, a list of sponsors, and a detailed agenda, visit


FSA Announces New Yield Data for

Safety Net Calculations

Monday, December 29, 2014  From the Farm Service Agency

      U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Administrator Val Dolcini recently offered farmers new information to update program payment yields that will help them better select protections offered by the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. The new programs, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, are cornerstones of the commodity farm safety, offering farmers protection when market forces cause substantial drops in crop prices and revenues.

      "The Farm Bill provided landowners with the option of updating their farm program payment yields. This is the first time that many producers have been able to update yields since 1986," said Dolcini. "We've worked with the Risk Management Agency to make available certified yield data that producers can use to better calculate how the new safety net programs can offer the best protection against market swings."

      Producers can check with their local FSA county office to see if data is available for them. This data belongs to the producer and only the producer associated with the crop insurance records will be provided this service. Updating yield history or reallocating base acres can occur until Feb. 27, 2015.

      FSA also issued a reminder that from Nov. 17, 2014, to March 31, 2015, producers will make a one-time election of either ARC or PLC for the 2014 through 2018 crop years. For more information, producers are encouraged to make an appointment to go into their local FSA county office. To find a local FSA county office, visit Additional information on the new programs is available at


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Upcoming Area Ag Conferences

      If you have a meeting to add to this list, please email A complete list can be found at

      January 14 – Cotton Production & New Technologies Conference, Panhandle. Contact Jody Bradford, CEA-AG, (806) 537-3882.

      January 14 – Southeast Panhandle Ag Conference, Memphis – Contact Josh Brooks, CEA-AG, (806) 259-3015.

      January 15 – Hockley County Ag Conference, Levelland. Contact Wes Utley, CEA-AG, (806) 894-3159.

      January 15 – High Plains Irrigation Conference and Trade Show, North Exhibit Hall A, Amarillo Civic Center. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

      January 20 – Terry/Yoakum Crops Conference, Terry County Senior Citizens Center, Brownfield. Contact J.W. Wagner, CEA-AG, (806) 456-2263.

      January 21 – Caprock Crop Production Conference, Muncy. Contact Caitlin Jackson, CEA-AG, (806) 675-2347.

      January 21 – Texas Alliance for Water Conservation Water College, Bayer Museum of Agriculture, Lubbock. 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

      January 22 – Southern Mesa Ag Conference, Lamesa. Contact Gary Roschetzky, CEA-AG, (806) 872-3444.

      January 26 – Marketing Outlook 2015, Spearman. Contact Kristy Slough, CEA-AG, (806) 878-4026.

      January 26 – Cotton Production Meeting, Spearman. Contact Kristy Slough, CEA-AG, (806) 878-4026.

      January 27 – Crop Budgeting/Irrigation Analyzer, Perryton. Contact Scott Strawn, CEA-AG, (806) 435-4501.

      January 28 – Alternative Crops Conference, Tahoka. Contact Wendy Scott, CEA-FCS, (806) 561-4562.

      January 28 – Cotton Planning Meeting, Groom/White Deer - Contact Brandon McGinty, CEA-AG, (806) 669-8033.