NASS Projects High Plains Production

at 3.67 Million Bales in 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015                       By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Figures released Wednesday from the USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, along with the first survey-based estimate from the National Agricultural Statistics Service with projected production numbers at the district level for the 2015 crop, surprised many in the cotton industry and contributed to a subsequent surge in the December contract to levels not seen in months.

      NASS pegged the 2015 High Plains crop at 3.67 million bales, harvested from 2.77 million acres. Planted acres are estimated at 3.35 million, reflecting a projected 17 percent abandonment rate. Although that rate is about average for the area, and the season did get off to a challenging start for many producers thanks to excessive yet much-needed rainfall, some say that number could be a bit high at this point.

      Yield per acre is estimated at 702 pounds per acre in the northern counties of the PCG service area, and 624 pounds per acre in the southern counties. Statewide yield is estimated to be 606 pounds per acre.

      "Usually for this first report, the abandonment rate is set somewhere around the average unless the surveys show some sort of extenuating circumstance, such as drought or widespread severe weather," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "We expect that our area's numbers will be adjusted over the next several months and, barring any severe weather events, we likely will see the abandonment rate for 1-N and 1-S go down and production estimates could climb."

      The potential for a closer-to-average crop certainly is there, as plants are responding favorably to high temperatures and a few fields already are nearing the cutout stage. Development overall is catching up to what would be typical for mid-August. Growers report average to good fruit loads, although few would turn down a rainfall event to help solidify yield prospects.

      Statewide, the NASS report estimates that Texas growers will produce 5.3 million bales of cotton from 4.2 million acres harvested. In 2014, 6.175 million bales of cotton were produced in Texas on 4.6 million harvested acres.

      NASS estimates that the United States will produce 12.65 million bales of upland cotton, down almost 20 percent from the 15.75 million produced nationwide in 2014.


CEUs Available at Upcoming WTACI Meeting

Friday, August 14, 2015                       By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The West Texas Agricultural Chemicals Institute will host their annual conference on Wednesday, Sept. 9, at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture, located at 1121 Canyon Lake Drive in Lubbock.

      This year represents the 63rd 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, crop rotation and nutrient management strategies, weed resistance and insect resistance management, crop insurance, and much more. A detailed list of presentations and speakers can be found at

      Five CEUs for the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), and six CEUs for the Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) program will be available. CEUs for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) are pending.

      Pre-registration is available online at 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 Ken Leg at 806-773-7310 or for questions about the program and CEU's.


Celebrate Cotton Tickets On Sale!

Saturday, September 12

Texas Tech Red Raiders University of Texas-El Paso

Promo Code: COTTON15


Upcoming Area Field Days

      August 20 – Dow AgroSciences Diamond Showcase, 2 p.m., Texas Tech New Deal Farm located about 6 miles east of New Deal on FM 1729. To register, go to Questions: Ken Lege', 806-773-7310.

      August 21 – Dow AgroSciences Diamond Showcase, 9 a.m., Texas Tech New Deal Farm located about 6 miles east of New Deal on FM 1729. To register, go to Questions: Ken Lege', 806-773-7310.

      September 10 – Cotton Breeding Field Day, Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center, 1102 E. FM 1294. Registration at 9 a.m., tour at 10 a.m. Questions: 806-746-6101.

      September 30 – Bayer CropScience West Texas Field Day, location in the Lubbock area to be determined. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Questions: contact your local Bayer CropScience sales representative.

      October 7 – Deltapine Field Day, 10 a.m, Nichols Barn in Seminole. Questions: Eric Best, 806-790-4646.

      October 8 – Deltapine Field Day, Noon, Steve Chapman Farm near Lorenzo. Questions: Eric Best, 806-790-4646.