High Plains Production Estimate Up Slightly

Friday, October 9, 2015                          By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The National Agricultural Statistics Service increased High Plains upland cotton production estimates by 30,000 bales from their September report, projecting that area growers will produce 3,980,000 bales this season.

      Those 30,000 additional bales are estimated to come from the Northern High Plains area, which was raised to 630,000. The Southern High Plains estimate remained at 3,350,000.

      Projected yield per acre increased for the Northern High Plains, from 702 pounds in the September estimate to 738 pounds in the October estimate. The Southern High Plains remained at 643.

      Harvested acres were unchanged from the September report. Growers on the Northern High Plains are projected to harvest 410,000 acres of cotton, while Southern High Plains growers are expected to harvest 2,500,000 acres. Abandonment rate for the High Plains region is projected to be 7.4 percent.

      Statewide, the production number dropped to 5.65 million bales, down 100,000 from the 5.75 million in the September report. The nationwide estimate for upland cotton was reduced to 12.9 million bales, down about 1 percent from the September report and down 18 percent from 2014. December futures closed today at 61.61 cents.

      Rainfall across the region delayed harvest for many producers, with as much as three inches falling in some locations. Rain chances are expected to decrease over the weekend, and the 10-day outlook calls for warm, dry weather next week with only slight chances of rain going into next weekend. Lubbock's first freeze usually occurs around October 31.

      Harvest activity should increase significantly over the next week as fields begin to dry out and producers continue to apply defoliants. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has made their 2015 High Plains and Northern Rolling Plains Cotton Harvest-Aid Guide available. A link to the guide is at http://www.plainscotton.org.

      At the USDA cotton classing office in Lubbock, 6,042 samples were classed this past week bringing the season total for this office to 6,283. Just more than 76 percent of the bales classed for the week are color grade 21 and better. Average leaf for the week is 3.17 and average length 34.66. Average micronaire for the week is 3.95.

      In Lamesa, 14,875 samples were classed this past week bringing the season total for this office to 16,627. Just more than 63% of the bales classed for the week are color grade 21 and better. Average leaf for the week is 2.22 and average length 34.50. Average micronaire for the week is 4.49.

      Classing office reports can be viewed at http://www.plainscotton.org/qualityreports2015.html.


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2016 Upland Cotton Marketing

Assistance Loan Rate Announced

Thursday, October 1, 2015               From the Farm Service Agency

      Commodity Credit Corporation Executive Vice President Val Dolcini today announced the marketing assistance loan rate for 2016-crop base quality upland cotton.

      Base quality upland cotton has the following characteristics: color grade 41, leaf grade 4, staple length 1-1/16 inches, micronaire 3.5-3.6 and 4.3-4.9, strength 26.0-28.9 grams per tex, and length uniformity of 80.0-81.9 percent.

      The 2014 Farm Bill sets the base quality marketing assistance loan rate for upland cotton at the simple average of the adjusted prevailing world price for the two immediately preceding marketing years, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture and announced Oct. 1, before the next domestic plantings. The marketing assistance loan rate cannot be less than 45 cents per pound or greater than 52 cents per pound.

      Because the calculation exceeded the maximum allowed level, the 2016-crop marketing assistance loan rate for upland cotton is set at 52 cents per pound.


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Appeals Court Halts EPA's WOTUS Rule

Friday, October 9, 2015              From the House Ag Committee

      Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) issued the following statement today after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati put a halt to the Obama Administration's WOTUS rule nationwide.
      "This is a tremendous victory for agriculture and the 18 states that challenged the EPA on its egregious power grab. I have vocalized my concerns since the EPA and Army Corps first proposed this rule, knowing that farmers and ranchers – the best and original stewards of our nation's land and water – would suffer dire consequences if the agencies pushed forward without consulting the very people the rule would affect. I am encouraged by the court's decision to stay this rule and the court's acknowledgment that the states have demonstrated a substantial possibility of success on the merits of their claims against the EPA. As the states continue challenging the rule, we will continue with our efforts in Congress to defeat the implementation of WOTUS," said Conaway.






2015 High Plains and Northern Rolling Plains

Cotton Harvest-Aid Guide

Now Available at http://www.plainscotton.org