Texas Cotton: USDA Estimates Didn’t Help, But We Did Get Rain

    Winter precipitation and a relatively good start to the growing season set the Texas High Plains up for what could be an above-average year if conditions continue to be favorable. On Friday,  USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service pegged the 2016 High Plains crop at 4.07 million bales, harvested from 3.325 million acres.

    Some locations in the PCG service area received as much as 3 inches of rainfall earlier this week, ranging from a few tenths to 2 inches for those who saw precipitation at all. Although some High Plains fields already have reached cutoff, the rainfall could still help bolls continue to grow and fill.  “Rain in August is always welcome, so we will take it when we can get it,” Steve Verett of  Plains Cotton Growers said. “It will help some more than others, but I think all of our growers would agree that it’s welcome.”


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    Producers saw the rain as a positive but the market was not nearly as excited, retreating from the 75-cent range over the week. The WASDE neutral report on Friday didn’t help. December futures closed Friday at 70.65.

    Quick View of the WASDE report numbers:

    • Planted acres are estimated at 3.59 million, reflecting a projected 7.4 percent abandonment rate, which is lower than the average of 18 to 20 percent for the region.
    • Yield per acre is estimated at 783 pounds per acre in the northern counties of the PCG service area, and 530 pounds per acre in the southern counties.
    • Statewide, the NASS report estimates that Texas growers will produce 6.3 million bales of upland cotton from 5.1 million acres harvested.
    • Statewide yield is estimated to be 593 pounds per acre, down from 610 last year. In 2015, 5.72 million bales of cotton were produced in Texas on 4.5 million harvested acres.
    • NASS estimates that the United States will produce 15.3 million bales of upland cotton, up 23% from 2015.

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