Title:COTTON PRODUCTION Time:2012/8/15
Texas Cotton Production Expected to
Almost Double from 2011 to 2012, USDA Says
Friday, August 10, 2012                       By Mary Jane Buerkle
      The United States Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service released their first estimates of cotton crop production for 2012 in the state, and although lack of moisture still plagues a significant portion of the NASS-estimated 4.26 million acres planted on the High Plains, production is expected to be back near the 10-year average at 4.35 million bales. That's more than double the 1.8 million bales produced on the High Plains in 2011.
      Statewide, the NASS report estimates that Texas growers will produce 6.7 million bales of cotton from 6.8 million acres planted. In 2011, 3.5 million bales of cotton were produced in Texas.
      Yield per acre is estimated at 859 pounds per acre in the northern counties of the PCG service area, and 566 pounds per acre in the southern counties. Statewide yield is estimated to be 618 pounds per acre.
      Although these production figures seem optimistic, current conditions remain extremely mixed, with many producers experiencing similar situations to last year. Abandonment on the High Plains likely will rise to above the 18 to 20 percent average in the next few weeks if it does not rain and temperatures stay around the 100-degree mark.
      Dryland acreage especially is struggling in many areas, but cotton planted on irrigated acreage is hanging on fairly well, for the most part. Some fields show tremendous promise, with plants that have developed well throughout the season thus far, but some fields already have been at cutout for several days.
      The cotton market dipped after the bearish estimates were released Friday morning. December futures had risen to 76 cents, but closed Friday at just more than 73 cents.
      NASS estimates that the United States will produce 17.65 million bales of cotton, up 651,000 bales from the July report and 13 percent more than the 2011 crop.
      "Much remains to be seen from this 2012 crop, but if these dry, hot conditions persist, it will not be economically viable for some producers to finish their season on a cotton stripper or a picker in all of their fields," PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. "That being said, there's some excellent-looking cotton out there, and there aren't many on the High Plains who were able to say that about their crops last year, so we remain optimistic about this year's harvest."

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