The National Agricultural Statistics Service decreased High Plains upland cotton production estimates by 130,000 bales from their September report, projecting area growers will produce 4,520,000 bales this season.
Most of the decrease came from the Southern High Plains, where the estimate was adjusted downward from 3.475 million bales in September to 3.35 million bales in the October report. The Northern High Plains estimate decreased from 1.175 million bales in September to 1.17 million bales in October.
Projected yield per acre decreased in both regions. The Northern High Plains went from 742 pounds in the September estimate to 739 pounds in the October estimate, and the Southern High Plains went from 602 to 581.
Harvested acres remained unchanged. Growers on the Northern High Plains are projected to harvest 760,000 acres of cotton, while Southern High Plains growers are expected to harvest 2,770,000 acres. Projected abandonment rate for the High Plains region remains at about 17 percent.
Statewide, the production number decreased to 7.8 million bales, down 200,000 from the 8 million projected in the September report. The nationwide estimate for upland cotton is 21 million bales, down slightly from an estimated 21.1 million in the September report but up 19 percent from 2018.
Harvest activity is increasing steadily across the Texas High Plains, with more gins beginning operations over the past week. A cold front brought a frost to the Lubbock area and a hard freeze to the Amarillo area, which, along with chemical applications for some producers, should induce defoliation and boll opening. The average first freeze date for the Lubbock area is October 31. Harvest progress is at less than 10 percent regionwide.
December futures were at nearly 64 cents at press time, rallying on encouragement from trade talks with China and the cold snap in Texas, although it still is too early to tell the true impact. Although a lot of cotton was planted late, a good bit of it caught up developmentally in August thanks to hot, dry weather.
“This should finish off a significant portion of our crop that had not already been defoliated, and we should see harvest begin in full force over the next couple of weeks, barring any weather delays,” PCG CEO Steve Verett said.
Source: is Plains Cotton Growers, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.