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Agricultural News

Latest Cotton Uupdate for the South Plains and Panhandle

Mon, 16 Nov 2020 09:39:57 CST

Latest Cotton Uupdate for the South Plains and Panhandle Jayme Lozano, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal November 15, 2020 gives us an update o f the cotton crop.

Cotton from the South Plains and Panhandle is a famous commodity that contributes up to 66 percent of the state's cotton and cottonseed, but this year's harvest is halfway complete and while the quality is good so far, yields will most likely be lower than expected.

The 2020 crop experienced a range of weather conditions early on with heavy storms, high winds and hail in June that damaged planted cotton, causing some producers to decide between replanting or investing those acres into a secondary crop.

The High Plains were in worsening drought conditions throughout the summer, and rainfall that did occur was sporadic and didn't reach every part of the region.

All the factors together have contributed to disappointing yields so far, and producers have finished about 50-60 percent of the harvest.

"Weather has played a big factor in the 2020 crop, and a high number of abandoned acres and drought led to disappointing yields," said Mark Brown, director of field services for Plains Cotton Growers. "But, we are pleased with the quality we've seen so far."

Brown compared this season's rainfall to that of the 2011 drought, saying that the average annual rainfall is 18.6 inches and as of the end of October, there had only been 11.39 inches, and not every county in PCG's 42-county coverage area had received even that much precipitation.

The effects from the drought have made it hard to predict what final yields for the High Plains will look like this year. However, Brown doubts that they can match the 3.05 million bales that were produced in the area last year.

The wintry weather at the end of October momentarily delayed harvesting for producers while some cotton gins lost power after starting up earlier that month.

The storm took a toll on the cotton crop, as Texas A&M AgriLife reported that some bolls would not open after being frozen and bolls that were open during the storm had lint pulled out.

As of Nov. 5, offices in Lamesa and Lubbock had classed 528,455 bales of cotton. Brown said despite all the challenges against cotton this year, the quality grades have ranged from good to excellent, which is the key when it comes to the market.

"Even if we don't have the yields, we have high quality and that makes it easier to sell," said Brown.



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