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Planted cotton acreage is estimated down more than 1 million acres in Texas
<p>Planted cotton acreage is estimated down more than 1 million acres in Texas.</p>

WASDE puts Texas cotton down more than 1 million acres

The 2015 planted cotton acreage is estimated at 5.1 million, down from 6.2 million last year.

Texas planted cotton acreage could decline by more than 1 million acres from the 2014 crop but that drop doesn’t necessarily translate into as big a cut in production as the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).

The 2015 planted acreage is estimated at 5.1 million, down from 6.2 million last year.

Harvested acres for Texas is estimated to be 4.2 million, down from last year’s 4.6 million. Production estimate for the 2015 crop is 606 pounds per acre for 5.3 million bales. That compares to 644 pounds and just under 6.2 million bales form the 2014 crop.

USDA’s harvested acreage estimate indicates a fairly high abandonment rate, some 17 percent for the High Plains, where the bulk of the state’s crop is produced. That may be too high, says Plains Cotton Growers Executive Vice President Steve Verett in the PCG weekly newsletter.

 "Usually for this first report, the abandonment rate is set somewhere around the average unless the surveys show some sort of extenuating circumstance, such as drought or widespread severe weather," Verett said. "We expect that our area's numbers will be adjusted over the next several months and, barring any severe weather events, we likely will see the abandonment rate for 1-N and 1-S go down and production estimates could climb."

Yield for the northern counties of the PCG service area is estimated at 702 pounds per acre, down from 767 last year. Production is estimated to be 600,000 bales. Yield in the southern counties of the PCG area is estimated to be 624 pounds per acre, an increase from last year’s 544 pound average yield. Production estimates show a 3.07 million bale crop from the area.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) estimates 2015 High Plains production at 3.67 million bales from 2.77 million acres, according to the PCG report.

The projected abandonment rate could be based on the early challenges producers faced with excessive rainfall. Good soil moisture and favorable conditions through the rest of the season could push that abandonment figure down. PCG officials say the crop has potential to make a crop that’s closer to normal than current USDA estimates indicate.

For the latest on southwest agriculture, please check out Southwest Farm Press Daily and receive the latest news right to your inbox.

The newsletter notes: “Plants are responding favorably to high temperatures and a few fields already are nearing the cutout stage. Development overall is catching up to what would be typical for mid-August. Growers report average to good fruit loads, although few would turn down a rainfall event to help solidify yield prospects.”

NASS estimates that the United States will produce 12.65 million bales of upland cotton, down almost 20 percent from the 15.75 million produced nationwide in 2014.

The acreage and production report resulted in “a surge in the December contract to levels not seen in months,” according to PCG.

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