Harvest Continues on Texas High Plains

Friday, January 6, 2017                          By Mary Jane Buerkle

A large crop coupled with weather delays has forced many producers to keep harvesters running into the new year, although the 2016 cotton harvest is beginning to wind down across the Texas High Plains. PCG estimates that about 90 to 95 percent of the region's crop has been harvested.

The latest statistics from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service show that Texas High Plains growers should produce 4.67 million bales of cotton, the most productive crop in the past six years. NASS will release updated figures next week.

As of Thursday, the Lubbock classing office had graded 2,822,810 samples, and the Lamesa office had graded 1,176,830, which combined is just shy of 4 million samples so far. Most gins will continue operations at least through the end of the month, if not into February and possibly beyond.


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Kress Producer Barry Evans is

2016 Cotton Achievement Award Winner

Thurs., Jan. 5, 2017 By Jim Steadman, Cotton Grower Magazine

      Barry Evans, a cotton producer and industry leader from Kress, TX, was honored by Cotton Grower magazine as the 2016 recipient of the publication's Cotton Achievement Award.

      Evans was honored January 5 during Cotton Grower's annual luncheon, sponsored by Deltapine and held in conjunction with the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in Dallas. He becomes the 47th recipient of the award.

      "In addition to being a successful cotton grower, Barry's tireless dedication to the industry has earned him the respect of many of his peers – from the dirt roads around Kress, to the board rooms in offices and upscale hotels across the Cotton Belt," said Beck Barnes, editor/publisher of Cotton Grower magazine.

      "For his selfless dedication to the betterment of the American cotton industry on a local, regional and national level, we're pleased to honor Barry with this year's award."

      Evans, who farms nearly 4,000 acres in the Texas High Plains, has been deeply involved in cotton and other agricultural organizations for many years. He is currently Secretary/Treasurer of the National Cotton Council, and has also served as Texas state chairman of the American Cotton Producers, as president of the Cotton Foundation, and as a member of The Cotton Board.

      He is a past president of Plains Cotton Growers and currently sits on the Plains Cotton Improvement Program committee. He is also a past chairman of the Northern High Plains Boll Weevil Eradication Program Advisory Committee.

      In addition, Evans is active with the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation and the Swisher County Farm Bureau. He is a graduate of the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership Program.

      "Barry Evans is one of those quiet, contemplative people who leads effectively while considering all viewpoints," says Steve Verett, executive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers. "He's a calm, steady force in any group, and when he talks, people listen because his suggestions and sound advice are always well thought out."

      "Sustainability is what this is about," said Evans, as he accepted the award. "It's about making our land better, more fertile and using the tools that we have. My daddy used the best tools that he had at his disposal, and his dad used the best tools that he had available. I couldn't farm the way I do today a generation ago. It's a great story to tell. And I'm proud to be a part of it.

      "I'm proud of what we do in American agriculture, and I'm proud to be an American farmer."


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SWCA, Texas Ag Forum to Host

Southwest Agricultural Issues Summit

Friday, January 6, 2017                       Information from SWCA

      The Southwest Council of Agribusiness and the Texas Ag Forum are partnering to host the 3rd Annual Southwest Agricultural Issues Summit, scheduled for February 5-7 at the historic Worthington Hotel in downtown Fort Worth.

      The Summit is an opportunity for farmers and ranchers, as well as bankers, business professionals, and policy makers to come together to discuss the issues confronting the agricultural industry.

      The Ag Issues Summit will feature panels and presentations from experts in the farm economy, senior USDA officials, staff from Capitol Hill, conservationists, and representatives and grower leadership of the major commodity organizations. Speakers include House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway; Scott Aughenbaugh, Deputy Director of Strategic Futures Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Jim Wiesemeyer, Senior Vice President of Informa Economics, Inc.; and several panel discussions focusing on agricultural policy, farm economics, conservation, and agribusiness.

      Registration before January 23 is $300 per attendee; spouse registration is $100. Room reservations must be made by January 16 at the negotiated rate of $189/night. Registration and room reservation links, along with more information and a list of sponsors, all are available at http://www.agissuessummit.com.

      Sponsorship opportunities still are available. For more information, contact SWCA Executive Director Jimmy Clark at (806) 790-6011.


PCG Board Meets January 11

Friday, January 6, 2017                          By Mary Jane Buerkle

The next regular meeting of the Board of Directors for Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. will begin at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 11, at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock. Dinner will be served at the conclusion of the meeting.

A full agenda is planned for the afternoon, including an update on the status of PCG finances, a cotton market report from Dr. John Robinson with Texas A&M's Department of Agricultural Economics and a weather update from Cary Allen, meteorologist at KCBD NewsChannel 11 in Lubbock.

Tom Sell with Combest, Sell & Associates will give a Washington update, Dr. Pete Dotray with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Texas Tech University will discuss technology stewardship, and Bob Stanley will update the group on activities of The Cotton Board.

For more information, contact PCG at (806) 792-4904.


NCC Planting Survey Deadline is January 16

Friday, January 6, 2017           From the National Cotton Council

All cotton producers are encouraged to respond to the National Cotton Council's annual survey of 2017 planting intentions, which was recently distributed to upland and extra-long staple cotton producers across the Cotton Belt.

The current survey's questionnaire was distributed through a combination of regular mail and email. Producers who did not receive a questionnaire may contact the NCC by email at econsurvey@cotton.org for instructions.

The survey, conducted each year to aid with industry planning and policy deliberations, provides the basis for the economic outlook presented to delegates during the NCC Annual Meeting in early February. Survey results will be presented during the Joint Meeting of Program Committees on Saturday morning, Feb. 11. To enhance the survey's accuracy, producers are encouraged to respond by the Jan. 16 deadline.


Upcoming Area Ag Conferences

      January 13 – West Plains Ag Conference, Levelland, South Plains College in the Sundown Room, from 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 5 CEU's (3 Gen., 1 L&R, 1 IPM) will be offered. Contact Kerry Siders, Extension Agent-IPM, for more information at 806-894-3150.

      January 17 – Ag Conference, American Legion Hall, 1021 S 8th St., Brownfield. Registration at 7:45 a.m. 5 CEU's offered. Contact Zach Bradshaw, County Extension Agent-AG, for more information at 806-637-4060.

      January 18Caprock Crop Production Conference, Floyd County Friends Unity Center at Muncy. Registration at 7 a.m., program from 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. 8 CEU's from TDA and 10 CCA are pending approval. Contact Caitlin Jackson, County Extension Agent-AG, 806-675-2347 or Cristen Brooks, County Extension Agent-AG at 806-983-4912 for more information.

      February 7 – Hale/Swisher Crops Conference – Location TBA. Amount of CEU's not determined yet. Contact Jason Miller, Hale County Extension Agent-AG, for more information at 806-291-5267.


TAWC Water College Set For January 18

      The Texas Alliance for Water Conservation will host their Water College on Wednesday, January 18, from 8:30 a.m-4:30 p.m. at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. There is no cost to attend, and lunch is provided along with CEU credit.

      Luncheon speaker is Dr. Michael Galyean, Interim Provost at Texas Tech University. Topics throughout the day include Texas water policy and laws; results from TAWC research projects; weather; beef sustainability; and water management in corn, cotton and grain sorghum.

      For more information, a list of sponsors, and a detailed agenda, visit http://www.tawcwatercollege.com.


High Plains Irrigation Conference set for

February 15 in Amarillo

Friday, December 30, 2016     By Kay Ledbetter, AgriLife TODAY

      The annual High Plains Irrigation Conference will be Feb. 15 in the North Exhibit Hall of the Amarillo Civic Center, 401 S. Buchanan St., Amarillo.

      The program, hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Agricultural Irrigation Association, will address a wide variety of topics of interest, said Dr. Dana Porter, program coordinator and AgriLife Extension agricultural engineering specialist–irrigation and water management, Lubbock.

      Registration will be onsite only, beginning at 8 a.m., with the program starting at 8:30 a.m. and concluding at 4:30 p.m. Cost is $30 and lunch is included.

      Continuing education units for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide applicators and certified crop advisers as well as Agricultural Irrigation Association certified irrigation designer units are pending.

      The keynote presentation, Issues in Water Law and Agriculture, will be given by Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, AgriLife Extension agricultural law specialist, Amarillo.

      Other topics include influence of irrigation practices on pest populations and relationship to yield; optimizing irrigation and fertility to enhance High Plains cotton production; Texas Agricultural Irrigation Association president comments; Update from the Texas Water Development Board; applied research in irrigated cropping systems; USDA-NRCS Program Update: Technical Resources, Initiatives and Program Requirements; irrigation practice considerations for crop insurance and risk management; emerging irrigation technologies; and irrigation research programs and developments in the High Plains.

      A concurrent trade show will also provide opportunities for attendees to see new products and technologies, and to visit with experts from industry, non-profit organizations and agencies.

      For more conference information, go to the Texas Agricultural Irrigation Association website, http://taia.org/HPIC_2017.html.

      Questions about the program can be directed to Porter at dporter@ag.tamu.edu. Sponsor and exhibitor questions should be directed to Kern Stutler at 806-786-5644.