NASS Reduces High Plains Production Estimate

Friday, October 13, 2017             By Mary Jane Buerkle

      The National Agricultural Statistics Service decreased High Plains upland cotton production estimates by 255,000 bales from their September report, projecting that area growers will produce 5,440,000 bales this season.

      The Southern High Plains area saw a bit more of a reduction, from 3.485 million bales in September down to 3,330,000 bales in the October report. Northern High Plains estimates were down by 100,000 bales to 2,110,000.

      Projected yield per acre decreased slightly in both regions. The Northern High Plains went from 911 pounds in the September estimate to 877 pounds in the October estimate, and the Southern High Plains went from 715 to 689.

      Harvested acres were adjusted slightly downward from the September report. Growers on the Northern High Plains are projected to harvest 1,155,000 acres of cotton, while Southern High Plains growers are expected to harvest 2,320,000 acres. Projected abandonment rate for the High Plains region remains at about 20 percent.

      Statewide, the production number dropped to 9 million bales, down 300,000 from the 9.3 million in the September report. The nationwide estimate for upland cotton is 20.4 million bales, down slightly from an estimated 21 million in the September report but up 23 percent from 2016. December futures settled lower on Thursday after the report, closing at 67.84 cents.

      Most producers were able to breathe a sigh of relief this week as temperatures, for a great majority of the area, fortunately did not dip below freezing. Although some growers are beginning harvest, a significant amount of cotton on the Texas High Plains still needs additional heat units to finish at a greater potential. The cool, cloudy weather has affected development, with one grower northwest of Lubbock sharing on social media that he cut a boll earlier this week and the cotton had made zero progress in the previous two weeks. Lubbock's first freeze usually occurs around October 31, and current forecasts indicate highs mostly in the 70s and 80s and low ranging anywhere from the upper 30s to the low 60s over the next several days.

      Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has made their 2017 High Plains Cotton Harvest-Aid Guide available. A link to the guide is at

      USDA cotton classing offices in both Lubbock and Lamesa have seen very limited activity so far. Once they begin releasing reports, those reports can be viewed on PCG's website.


Upcoming Area Field Days

      October 18 – Swisher County Cotton Tour, 9 a.m., Kress. Questions: John Villalba, Swisher County CEA-Ag/NR, (806) 995-3721.

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



2017 High Plains Cotton Harvest-Aid Guide

Now Available at


Elevating Efficiency Is 2018 Beltwide

Cotton Conferences' Goal

Friday, October 6, 2017     From the National Cotton Council

      The 2018 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, set for January 3-5 at the Marriott Rivercenter in San Antonio, Texas, will provide insight on current research and emerging technology – to help attendees improve production, processing and marketing efficiency.

      Information on the 2018 BWCC, including registration and housing reservation instructions, is at The site also includes a link to BWCC proceedings from 2005-2017.

      The 2018 BWCC will begin at noon on January 3 with the half-day Cotton Consultants Conference – open to all attendees. Among scheduled topics selected by the consultant community are: looking ahead to Bollgard III use, a review of year one of Dicamba use, thrips control, bacterial blight, nematodes, cotton root rot and fungicide seed treatments. Also included will be a regulatory update and presentations on growing cotton economically and on contamination prevention.

      The 2018 Beltwide also will feature a special workshop, "Risk & Reward: Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for Agricultural Producers." The session is supported by a grant from the Southern Extension Risk Management Education Center and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

      The BWCC cotton technical conferences, which will provide updates on research and a look into the technology pipeline, will meet concurrently beginning on the morning of January 4 and conclude by noon on January 5.

      The Ginning Conference, for example, will include several presentations critical to cotton quality and efficient processing. Included will be updates regarding ongoing ginning research, new equipment, and lint contamination research/prevention. Results of the 2016 Gin Cost Survey also will be presented. Beginning on the afternoon of January 3, the National Cotton Ginners Association will hold several committee and subcommittee meetings. A schedule of those meetings is at

      Registration costs for the 2018 BWCC before December 15 are: $200 for NCC/Cotton Foundation members, university and USDA researchers, Extension personnel, associations and consultants; $400 for non-NCC/Foundation members; and $80 for students. On-site conference self-registration kiosks will be available 24 hours a day beginning on the evening of January 2. Beginning on the morning of January 3, NCC staff will be available for attendees needing assistance with registration and name badge printing.