NASS Increases Texas High Plains

Cotton Production Estimate for 2016 Crop

Friday, September 16, 2016                By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The National Agricultural Statistics Service projects that Texas High Plains area growers will produce 4.145 million bales of upland cotton in 2015, which would surpass the 4-million-bale mark for the first time since 2010.

      The September 12 NASS estimate is a 75,000-bale increase from their August estimates for the High Plains. They decreased their estimate for the Northern High Plains from 1.2 million bales in August to 1.15 million bales in September, and increased their estimate for the Southern High Plains from 2.83 million bales in August to 2.995 million in September.

      Yield per acre decreased for the Northern High Plains, from 783 to 746 pounds. The Southern High Plains increased slightly from 530 pounds in August to 540 in September.

      The Northern High Plains is projected to harvest 740,000 acres, down 20,000 acres from the August report. The Southern High Plains is expected to harvest 2.66 million acres, up from 2.565 million in the August report. Abandonment rate for the High Plains region now is projected to be 8.2 percent, which is slightly higher than the 7.4 percent abandonment projected in the August report, but well below the long-term average of 15 to 18 percent.

      Statewide, the production number increased by 300,000 bales from the August report to 6.6 million bales. The nationwide estimate now for upland cotton is at 15.6 million bales, up 25 percent from 2015.

      Some producers will start defoliating as soon as the weather will allow, as bolls are beginning to open in some dryland fields. The symbolic first bale on the Texas High Plains was delivered on Friday, September 2. The grower was Seminole area farmer Jacob Martens and the cotton was ginned at Seminole Service Gin.

      Heavy rain fell in much of the PCG service area this past week, with isolated reports of hail. Damage estimates are unknown at this point. December futures remain around 67 cents at press time.


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PCG Commends USDA, USTR, Members of Congress

for Working Toward a Level Playing Field for U.S. Agriculture

Wednesday, September 14, 2016        By Mary Jane Buerkle

      Plains Cotton Growers commends the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Trade Representative, and a bipartisan group of Members of Congress who announced that they are launching enforcement actions against China at the World Trade Organization for their government support mechanisms for corn, wheat, and rice that the USTR says exceed China's agreement under the WTO.

      "One of the greatest threats to agriculture here in the United States – and particularly cotton – is other countries and their high subsidies, tariffs and other trade barriers that prevent our producers from competing in the world market," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "We've reformed our domestic farm policy to come under compliance with the WTO, and we appreciate the fact that the USDA, USTR and these lawmakers recognize that other countries should be examined with the same scrutiny. Our producers deserve that level of oversight."

      PCG appreciates House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway for remaining steadfast in helping raise awareness of foreign agricultural subsidies and their impact on U.S. growers, and especially cotton growers, having convened two full committee hearings to examine the issue.

      " I am very hopeful that beyond the challenges announced today, that the U.S. government will also vigorously pursue a case against China concerning its cotton policy which has wreaked havoc on our domestic producers," Conaway said in a news release. "Absent this, I fear that our domestic cotton production and all that it means to our nation's economy will be lost in much the same way we forfeited our textile industry, once the largest manufacturing sector of our economy."


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Upcoming Area Field Days

September 20 - Americot Field Day, Inside 4 Bar K, 302 E. 82nd St, Lubbock.  9:30 a.m. registration, tour of the Heinrich Brothers farms begins at 10 a.m.; ends with lunch at Inside 4 Bar K. Questions: Gary Sanders, 806-777-4534; or Jerry Montgomery, 806-577-8011.

September 22 – Deltapine Field Day, Rackler Drip Farm, Levelland (11 miles west on TX 114, 2 miles north on FM 303). 11 a.m., lunch served. Questions: Eric Best, 806-790-4646.     

September 27 – Deltapine Field Day, Nichols Barn in Seminole. 10 a.m., lunch served. Questions: Eric Best, 806-790-4646.

      September 29 – Bayer CropScience West Texas Field Day, Bayer CropScience Idalou Breeding Station, 3.2 miles east of Idalou on U.S. 62/82 next to Apple Country Orchards. Questions: contact your local Bayer CropScience sales representative.

September 30 - Texas Tech Quaker Farm Field Day, 200 N. Quaker (just north of the intersection of Fourth Street and Quaker Avenue). Registration begins at 8 a.m., tours begin at 9; ends with lunch. Questions: Reagan Anders, 806-239-5604.

      If you have a field day to add to this list, please email or call (806) 792-4904.