NASS Increases Texas High Plains

Cotton Production Estimate for 2015 Crop

Friday, September 11, 2015                By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The National Agricultural Statistics Service projects that area cotton growers will produce 3.95 million bales in 2015, inching closer to the 4-million-bale mark that has eluded the area since 2010.

      The September 11 NASS estimate is a 280,000-bale increase from their August estimates for the High Plains, all in the Southern High Plains area. The Northern High Plains area remained at 600,000 bales.

      Yield per acre also remained the same for the Northern High Plains, at 702 pounds. The Southern High Plains increased slightly from 624 pounds in August to 643 in September.

      The Northern High Plains is projected to harvest 410,000 acres, same as in the August report. The Southern High Plains is expected to harvest 2.5 million acres, up from 2.36 million in the August report. Abandonment rate for the High Plains region now is projected to be 7.4 percent, which is significantly below the abandonment projected in the August report, and also below the long-term average of 15 to 18 percent.

      "These numbers are getting closer to what we are expecting, based on what we're hearing from growers and ginners across the area," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "We have a significant amount of cotton out there that still is in excellent shape, although we have considerable dryland acreage that is struggling with the lack of rainfall over the past several weeks."

      Statewide, the production number increased to 5.75 million bales, up from 5.3 million in the August report. The nationwide estimate now is at 13 million bales, up slightly from the August report, but still down 14 percent from 2014. December futures remain around 63 cents at press time.

      Although some producers report that they will begin defoliating within the next couple of weeks, the symbolic first bale on the Texas High Plains had not yet been harvested at press time. In 2014, the first bale was delivered on September 5.


Upcoming Area Field Days

      September 15 – All-Tex/Dyna-Gro Field Day, 9 a.m., 1921 West Avenue, Levelland. Lunch served at noon. Questions: Cody Poage, 806-894-4901.

      September 16 – Texas Tech University – Quaker Research Farm Field Day, 200 N. Quaker, Lubbock. Registration at 8 a.m., tours begin at 9 a.m. Lunch served at conclusion. Questions: Reagan Anders, 806-239-5604.

      September 16 – Texas Alliance for Water Conservation Field Day, 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Floyd County Unity Center in Muncy. Lunch served at noon. More information:

      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 6 – Americot Field Day, 9 a.m., Texas Tech Quaker Farm (Lubbock County North). Questions: Chiree Fields, 806-793-1431.

      October 7 – Americot Field Day, 9 a.m., Texas Tech Quaker Farm (Lubbock County South). Questions: Chiree Fields, 806-793-1431.

      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.


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TALL Program Seeks Applicants

Friday, September 11, 2015                By Kathleen Phillips

      The Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership Program is seeking applicants for its new class, which will begin in July 2016.

      TALL is a two-year leadership development program managed by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Applications for the new class, Class XV, are due March 15. The application forms are online at

      "The agriculture industry constantly faces new and unique challenges, and there is a need for individuals who have leadership potential to serve in decision-making positions. TALL graduates provide a new pool of proven leaders that can provide the leadership, insight, knowledge and direction to ensure that agriculture is viable in the future," said Dr. Jim Mazurkiewicz, AgriLife Extension leadership program director.

      The program invests 455 hours of intensive training per person in seminars, speakers and domestic and international study trips over two years, Mazurkiewicz added. It is equivalent to the time spent obtaining a master's degree in agriculture. The typical class size is about 26, and tuition is $3,000.

      "The mission of the program is to create a cadre of Texas leaders to ensure effective understanding and encourage positive action on key issues, theories, policy and economics that will advance the agriculture industry," Mazurkiewicz said.

      Participants include traditional crop producers, ranchers, bankers and attorneys, as well as those who work in lumber, food processing, agricultural corporations and horticultural industries, he said.



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