Early Freeze Threatens High Plains Cotton

Friday, October 27, 2017                            By Mary Jane Buerkle

      A front packing a particularly cold punch moved through the Texas High Plains late Thursday night and early Friday morning, setting up the likely potential for the region's first widespread hard killing freeze of the 2017 crop year.

      The average first freeze date for Lubbock is October 31, but thanks to a cool, cloudy late September and early October, boll development in many fields was slowed significantly. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service's Texas Crop Progress and Condition report released Monday, only 80 percent of bolls were open statewide as of last week, compared with 89 percent in the previous year. Warmer temperatures over the past week likely helped boost that number some, but many growers still were hoping for a little more time to finish out their crop. In some years, a freeze hasn't occurred in the Lubbock area until mid-November.

      However, for those with cotton that has finished maturing, a freeze could be beneficial and help some growers save additional input costs on harvest aid applications.

      "The impact of this freeze remains to be seen, but it certainly could impact yield and quality," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said.

      In other weather-related impact news, hail and high winds damaged and destroyed cotton in fields in portions of the PCG service area last weekend. Photos posted to social media showed cotton completely dropped out of the burr and on the ground in the McAdoo area, in northern Dickens County. Damage also was reported in the Welch area and westward into Gaines County.

      The season's first quality reports have been released from the Lubbock, Lamesa and Abilene offices. In Lubbock, 46,370 samples were classed this past week bringing the season total for this office to 49,661. More than half of the samples were color grade 31 or 32, indicating some light spotted color. For the season so far, average leaf is 3.1, average length is 35.87, and average micronaire is 3.64.

      Quality reports are posted on the PCG website at www.plainscotton.org/qualityreports2017.html.


"Ag in the Bag" Program Teaches

Elementary Students About Agriculture

Friday, October 27, 2017                            By Mary Jane Buerkle

      More than 1,400 fourth-grade students, teachers, parents and volunteers from Lubbock and the surrounding areas watched a dairy cow being milked, saw how their jeans were made, and learned how agriculture impacts their daily lives at the annual "Ag in the Bag" program, held October 10-13 at the Texas Tech Livestock Arena in Lubbock.

      Topics included dairy, corn, cotton, sorghum, water, beef, sheep, meat science, food science, and various other agricultural concepts. A committee of volunteers plans the event, which is free to the schools because of financial support from sponsors. Students from Lubbock ISD and several area schools attended the program.

      "It's vital that we reach out to our kids to teach them where their food and fiber comes from," spokesperson Ronda Alexander, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension-Lubbock County 4-H Agent said.

      Program sponsors include Bayer CropScience, FiberMax/Stoneville, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Lubbock County Farm Bureau, South Plains Electric Cooperative, Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, AgTexas Farm Credit Services, Capital Farm Credit, City Bank Texas, Deltapine, High Plains Water District, Plains Cotton Growers, Lyntegar Electric Cooperative, Texas Corn Producers, Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas Peanut Producers Board, Cornerstone Group Inc., United Sorghum Checkoff Program, Southwest Dairy Farmers, Gandy's, Taylor Insurance, Hurst Farm Supply, Farmers Cooperative Compress, and DairyMax.


COTTON USA Launches New Global Website

October 2017                    From Cotton Council International

      COTTON USAŠ is proud to introduce a new global website, www.cottonusa.org. Translated into 12 languages, it will continue to offer our business partners live market pricing, weekly export and market reports and global supplier/licensee and exporter search capabilities. Additionally, it will feature innovation announcements, news and event information and new developments in the areas of cotton sustainability, quality and transparency. 

      Now, mills, manufacturers, brands and retailers will be able to access industry-specific content, including COTTON USA benefits and real life testimonials. The new COTTON USA website is now totally focused on serving business needs, and newly built to connect, educate and inspire the entire cotton supply chain.


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AgTexas FCS Breaks Ground on New Office

October 2017                From AgTexas Farm Credit Services

      AgTexas Farm Credit Services recently hosted a ground-breaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction of its new Lubbock office, located at 5004 N. Loop 289.

      The new 21,000-square-foot building will serve as both the corporate headquarters and branch office, and will include over 40 offices, a large board room and several meeting rooms. In addition, the convenient location off of Loop 289 will make it easy for customers to access.

      The new building is expected to be completed in Fall 2018.