2015 County Production Figures In;

PCG Area Produced 3.8 Million Upland Bales

Friday, May 13, 2016                           By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Above average rainfall and a relatively low abandonment rate were two key factors in Texas High Plains growers producing about 3.8 million bales of cotton in 2015, the area's largest crop since 2010, according to final production estimates from the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

      This is an increase from the 3.25 million 480-pound bales produced during the 2014 growing season but about 200,000 bales less than the 4 million bales projected by NASS in their January 2016 report.

      Planted acreage in 2015 was down about 745,000 acres from the previous year, totaling about 3.1 million acres. Producers brought more than 92 percent of that to harvest at about 2.9 million acres. The 2015 abandonment rate of about 8 percent is the lowest since 2010, when the area had its lowest abandonment rate in history at 4 percent. In 2011, the abandonment rate hit a record high at 66 percent, and it was 44 percent in 2012, 55 percent in 2013 and 33 percent in 2014.

      According to the final county level production estimates released on Tuesday by NASS, the Plains Cotton Growers 41-county service area accounted for more than two-thirds of the 5.72 million bales of upland cotton produced in Texas this past season. Statewide production was down 7 percent from 2014, and the average yield per acre statewide was down 5 percent from last year at 610 pounds per acre.

      On a national basis, Texas growers accounted for about 46 percent of the 12.4 million upland bales produced in the United States in 2015, maintaining their position as the No. 1 cotton producing state in the nation. Georgia was second with 2.25 million bales. In 2015, the top 11 cotton-producing counties in the nation were within 80 miles of Lubbock, reinforcing the area's claim as the nation's largest cotton patch.

      A complete rundown of 2015 crop statistics for planted and harvested acreage, yield per harvested acre and total bales produced in PCG's 41-county service area is included in the table that accompanies this article.

      Gaines County was the top-producing county on the High Plains in 2015, with 372,200 bales 480-pound bales of cotton and averaging 720 pounds per harvested acre. Lubbock County, last year's top-producing county in the entire nation, fell to third in 2015 with 358,000 bales, just under second-place Lynn County with 365,200 bales. Overall yield per harvested acre on the High Plains averaged 633 pounds in 2015, up from 589 in 2014.

      Joining Gaines County in the top ten cotton-producing counties in the High Plains Region (reported in 480-lb bales) were: Lynn, 365,200; Lubbock, 358,000; Dawson, 328,800; Hockley, 282,400; Crosby, 239,100; Floyd, 226,500; Terry, 222,100; Lamb, 164,900; and Hale, 160,500.

      As for yield, Hartley County ranked at the top for 2015, averaging 1,182 pounds per harvested acre. Ranking second and third in yield per harvested acre were Castro County (1,136 pounds), and Sherman County (1,128 pounds).

      A complete listing of the 2015 upland cotton production totals for Texas and other states is available on the NASS website (http://www.nass.usda.gov). Just click on the "Quick Stats" link to search for the data you want to find.

2015-crop Upland Cotton Production

Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. 41-County Service Area

County

Planted

Harvested

Yield per

Production

 

(Acres)

(Acres)

Harv. Acre

(Bales)

Andrews

Armstrong

Bailey

62,600

50,200

670

70,100

Borden

41,100

40,330

447

37,530

Briscoe

23,600

22,700

873

41,300

Carson

25,600

24,100

848

42,600

Castro

11,100

9,800

1,136

23,190

Cochran

124,400

110,700

604

139,200

Crosby

192,400

190,400

603

239,100

Dallam

Dawson

300,800

294,900

535

328,800

Deaf Smith

Dickens

29,200

29,000

429

25,890

Floyd

148,100

143,700

757

226,500

Gaines

275,400

248,200

720

372,200

Garza

44,200

43,400

622

56,200

Hale

117,800

106,200

725

160,500

Hansford

Hartley

4,900

3,900

1,182

9,600

Hemphill

Hockley

239,000

207,000

655

282,400

Howard

141,300

140,100

301

87,900

Hutchinson

Lamb

128,100

115,000

688

164,900

Lipscomb

Lubbock

246,000

229,700

748

358,000

Lynn

295,600

274,800

638

365,200

Martin

177,900

172,400

404

145,100

Midland

Moore

Motley

21,100

20,530

429

18,330

Ochiltree

Oldham

Parmer

15,100

11,820

761

18,740

Potter

Randall

Roberts

Sherman

12,700

11,130

1,128

26,150

Swisher

45,900

41,800

872

75,900

Terry

204,600

178,500

597

222,100

Yoakum

111,800

100,100

725

151,200

1-N Comb. Co.

47,300

40,450

1,036

87,330

1-S Comb. Co.

42,000

40,400

587

49,400

High Plains Total

3,129,600

2,901,260

633

3,825,360

 

 

 

(weighted)

 

 

Korean Textile Executives Tour

U.S. Cotton Belt

Friday, May 6, 2016           From Cotton Council International

      Textile executives from nine Korean companies participated in the five-day COTTON USA Special Trade Mission, which toured the U.S. Cotton Belt and met with U.S. cotton exporters. This COTTON USA tour emphasized U.S. cotton's advantages and encouraged business relationships, with the intention of increasing exports of U.S. cotton in the future.

      "The Special Trade Mission gave us a great opportunity to be assured of the excellent quality of U.S. cotton," Do Hyung Lee of Taihan Textile said. "After this tour our company will continue to source primarily from the U.S."

      The Korean delegation began its tour in New York City with a seminar at ICE Futures. Next, the textile executives traveled to the Cotton Belt's four major growing regions and met with members of industry organizations including: Cotton Incorporated, the National Cotton Council, USDA, Supima, as well as merchants, coops and producers in each region.

      Korea currently ranks as the sixth largest U.S. cotton importer. The nine Korean companies who participated represented 80% of Korea's total cotton consumption and U.S. market share with these companies is currently estimated at 53 percent. It is also important to note that many Korean textile mills also have textile investments outside of Korea, primarily in Vietnam. Those spinning mills in Vietnam are estimated to consume 166,000 additional bales of U.S. cotton this year.

 

The EPA has extended the comment period on the use of dicamba herbicide

in dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybeans to May 31.

 

To submit your comment about this new technology, visit

https://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0187-0001

 

 

USDA Announces Conservation Reserve

Program Results

Thursday, May 5, 2016                         From the USDA

      Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the enrollment of more than 800,000 acres in the Conservation Reserve Program. Through CRP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture helps farmers offset the costs of restoring, enhancing and protecting certain grasses, shrubs and trees that improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and strengthen wildlife habitat. Farmers' and ranchers' participation in CRP continues to provide numerous benefits to our nation, including helping reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases and providing resiliency to future weather changes.

      This was one of the most selective sign-up periods in CRP's 30-year history, with a record high Environmental Benefits Index cut-off and the lowest-percentage of applications accepted. The high bar means that the per-acre conservation benefits are being maximized and that acres enrolled address multiple conservation priorities simultaneously.

 

      A nationwide acreage limit was established for this program in the 2014 Farm Bill, capping the total number of acres that may be enrolled at 24 million for fiscal years 2017 and 2018. At the same time, USDA has experienced a record demand from farmers and ranchers interested in participating in the voluntary program. As of March 2016, 23.8 million acres were enrolled in CRP, with 1.7 million acres set to expire this fall.

      Over three million acres have been offered for enrollment this year across the three main categories within CRP, with USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) receiving over 26,000 offers to enroll more than 1.8 million acres during the general enrollment period, and over 4,600 offers to enroll more than one million acres in the new CRP Grasslands program. Coming off a record-setting 2015 continuous enrollment of over 860,000 acres, more than 364,000 acres already have been accepted for 2016 in the CRP continuous enrollment, triple the pace of last year.

      FSA will accept 411,000 acres in general enrollment, the most competitive selection in in the history of the program, with the acreage providing record high conservation benefits. USDA selected offers by weighing environmental factors plus cost, including wildlife enhancement, water quality, soil erosion, enduring benefits, and air quality.

      The results of the first-ever enrollment period for CRP Grasslands, FSA will also accept 101,000 acres in the program, providing participants with financial assistance for establishing approved grasses, trees and shrubs on pasture and rangeland that can continue to be grazed. More than 70 percent of these acres are diverse native grasslands under threat of conversion, and more than 97 percent of the acres have a new, veteran or underserved farmer or rancher as a primary producer. FSA continues to accept CRP Grasslands offers and will conduct another ranking period later this year. Acres are ranked according to current and future use, new and underserved producer involvement, maximum grassland preservation, vegetative cover, pollinator habitat and various other environmental factors.

      Participants in CRP establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as "covers") to control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands. In return, FSA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years.

      CRP is currently protecting more than 100,000 acres of bottomland hardwood trees, nearly 300,000 acres of flood-plain wetlands, and 300,000 acres each for duck nesting habitat and nearly 250,000 acres of upland bird habitat. In addition, CRP is creating economic benefits that include at least $545 million per year in recreation benefits and water quality benefits from reduced sedimentation of $587 million per year.

      Since 2009, USDA has invested more than $29 billion to help producers make conservation improvements, working with as many as 500,000 farmers, ranchers and landowners to protect land and water on over 400 million acres nationwide.

      To learn more about FSA's conservation programs, visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/conservation or contact a local FSA county office. To find your local FSA county office, visit http://offices.usda.gov/.