‘What Veterans Day Means to Me’
This morning (Nov. 10) at the Plains Cotton Advisory Group meeting, Randy West, manager of Long S Gin in Hockley County, discussed the importance of Veterans Day.
“The military helped me grow up and instilled in me the value of service. And I gained a large family out of it, too. I have many brothers and sisters now all over the world. Enough time has passed now, that I have friends whose children gave their lives in service to our country.
The majority of our nation today doesn’t understand how blessed we are to be Americans. Those of us that have been to third-world countries understand it. The freedoms that we have in our school system and in our worship doesn’t exist in some of these other places. These freedoms are granted to us through the lives laid down in service to our country and I wish we all realized that.
What does Veterans Day mean to me? Well, all of my heroes are not with us anymore. The ones who sacrificed their lives for me and all of us are my heroes. It’s an honor when somebody will write a blank check and put their life on the line for what they believe in. That’s what it means to me.”
Plains Cotton Growers thanks Randy and all veterans for their service to our great country. The cotton industry has great challenges from production to infrastructure and situations can seem bleak. However, we are blessed to live in a free nation paid for by the lives and sacrifices of our military.
Last year, PCG published a Veterans Day story in our Faces of Cotton story series. You can read more about Randy and his service here.
2023 Cotton Crop Update
An update on the 2023 cotton crop in Georgia, Texas High Plains and South Texas.
“We’re probably 60% finished with harvest,” said Taylor Sills, Georgia Cotton Commission executive director. “I’ve had calls about really good cotton, but there are also pockets of really bad cotton, especially in counties that were affected by Hurricane Idalia in September. Those bad pockets have probably suffered a 20% yield loss.”
Georgia producers would like to see a rain come their way, as it’s been four to six weeks since they’ve had moisture. Rain would allow the gins to get caught up and provide ground moisture for the next season.
“It’s currently raining here (November 10) and we’re hoping we get enough moisture to run some of these cracks together that are in the soil,” said South Texas Cotton and Grain Executive Director Jeff Nunley. “It’s been dry down here for us.”
Growers have been putting some fertilizer out in preparation for next season, but most are holding back to see if the weather provides them with enough optimism to put money into next year’s crop. Planting season typically begins in February for South Texas, and Nunley says the area needs around three to four inches of rain to make up for the persistent drought that has plagued his region for two years.
“The 2023 crop year was disappointing for us,” he added. “Our cotton acreage was down and so was our yields, which made our gins suffer for the second year in a row. We really need a good cotton crop in 2024 for our infrastructure.”
Texas High Plains
The killing freeze has occurred across the entire 42-county PCG service region, according to director of Field Services Mark Brown. The first official freeze for Amarillo was October 28th; Lubbock’s was October 29th; and Midland received their freeze on the 30th.
The National Weather Service recorded 0.45 inches of rain for Amarillo, 3.38 inches for Lubbock, and 3.52 inches for Midland in October. The rainfall has slightly delayed harvest and most gins are in a start-and-stop mode.
Brown estimates PCG counties range from 20% to 50% off the stalk. Midland and Big Spring areas are slow with several gins not running for the second year in a row. “They’re very worried about the economic conditions down there,” Brown added.
Assuming weather stays good, Brown estimates that most of the cotton will be out of the field by Thanksgiving, with ginning wrapped up by or before Christmas. Though, he does have some gins say that their projected end date is closer to Thanksgiving.
West Texas Cotton Quality Report for the 2023 Season
2023 Cotton Quality Report
This is a weekly summary of the cotton classed at the Lubbock and Lamesa USDA Cotton Division Cotton Classing Offices for the 2023 production season.
Lamesa’s average daily number of cotton samples received this week is 3,557. The office is currently 10% complete in the classing of their season estimate of samples.
Lubbock’s average daily number of cotton samples received this week is 25,000. The office is 14% complete in the classing of their season estimate of samples.