NASS Increases Texas High Plains

Cotton Production Estimate for 2017 Crop

Friday, September 15, 2017                By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The National Agricultural Statistics Service projects that Texas High Plains area growers will produce 5.695 million bales of upland cotton in 2017, which would be the largest crop in PCG's 41-county service area in the organization's history.

      The September 12 NASS estimate is a 465,000-bale increase from their August estimate of 5.23 million for the High Plains. Most of that increase, NASS says, will be in the Northern High Plains, from 1.695 million bales in August to 2.21 million bales in September. NASS decreased slightly their estimate for the Southern High Plains from 3.535 million bales in August to 3.485 million in September.

      Yield per acre decreased for the Northern High Plains, from 946 to 911 pounds. The Southern High Plains increased from 662 pounds in August to 715 in September.

      The Northern High Plains is projected to harvest 1.165 million acres, up 305,000 acres from the August report. Planted acres in the north also were adjusted upward to 1.325 million acres. The Southern High Plains is expected to harvest 2.34 million acres, down from 2.565 million in the August report. Abandonment rate for the High Plains region now is projected to be at about 20 percent, which is only slightly higher than the long-term average of 15 to 18 percent.

      Statewide, the production number increased by 500,000 bales from the August report to 9.3 million bales. The nationwide estimate now for upland cotton is at 21 million bales, up 27 percent from 2016. It was noted in the NASS report that data collection for the September Crop Production reports did not include the full impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Those impacts are expected to be reflected in the October report.

      A good amount of Texas High Plains cotton could still benefit from additional heat units over the next week to ten days, although some producers could begin defoliating during that time. The symbolic first bale on the Texas High Plains was delivered on Tuesday, September 5. The grower was Seminole area farmer Billy Letkeman and the cotton was ginned at Seminole Service Gin.


PCG, NCC Encourage Members to

Comment on WOTUS

      The National Cotton Council and Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., are urging members to file comments in support of the repeal of the Waters of the U.S. rule and the temporary reinstatement of the previous rule. Since the proposal to repeal WOTUS was published on July 27, almost 2,000 comments have been filed, many of which seek to maintain WOTUS as the law of the land. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers have outlined a two-step process to replace WOTUS with a more workable regulation. The first step is to rescind the WOTUS rule, followed by a collaborative process of working with all stakeholders to develop a more reasonable regulation.

      Below are several means by which those interested can file comments.  A letter template is available (contact PCG or the NCC), although personally written comments will count much more to the agencies in charge of this issue.

      Comments must be received on or before Wednesday, September 27, 2017.

      To send mail via the United States Postal Service, use the following address:

      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

      EPA Docket Center

      Docket #: EPA-HQ-OW-2017-0203

      Mail Code 28221T

      1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

      Washington, D.C. 20460

E-mail address:  

FAX: (202) 566-9744

      To file directly online, go to, click on "Comment Now!", and follow directions. 

      If you have any questions, please contact NCC's Steve Hensley at 202-745-7805 or, or PCG's Kody Bessent at 806-792-4904 or


Upcoming Area Field Days

      September 20 – Perryton Field Day hosted by North Plains Groundwater Conservation District, Ochiltree County Expo, 402 Expo Drive, Perryton, 9:30 a.m. More information available at

      September 21 – Americot/NexGen Field Day, 10 a.m., AgriSearch Farm near Edmonson (Hale County). Questions: contact Gary Sanders or Jerry Montgomery.

      September 21 – Eco-Drip Field Day, 4 p.m., located at GPS Coordinates 33.6223, -101.9728. Questions or to RSVP: 806-757-2120.

September 23 – Deltapine Seminole Showcase Event, 11 a.m., Nichols Farm, 6 miles southwest of Seminole on FM 181. Questions: Eric Best, 806-790-4646.

      September 26 – Deltapine Field Day, 11 a.m., Robbie Harkey Farm, Interstate 27 Exit 43, Hale Center. More information: Alyssa Spruill, (806) 500-5003.

      September 26 – Americot/NexGen Lubbock/Lynn County Field Day, time TBA, Matt Caswell Farm. Questions: contact Cody Reep, Dale Schaffner or Hayden Alexander.

      September 28 – Bayer CropScience West Texas Field Day, Lubbock Cotton Breeding and Trait Development Station, 1405 East Loop 289 (E. Loop 289 and 16th). Registration begins at 9 a.m. Questions: contact your local Bayer CropScience sales representative.

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