Texas Cotton: High Plains Weather Aids Harvest, ARC/PLC Deadline is Dec. 7

Cotton seed pile in gin warehouse. Photo: Lance Cheung, USDA

Interruptions and delays plagued the beginning of harvest for the 2018 Texas High Plains cotton crop, but thanks to recent sunshine and optimal weather, growers have been moving quickly through fields across the region.

The general consensus at today’s PCG Friday Morning Advisory Group meeting is that the Texas High Plains harvest is approaching 70 percent complete overall. Some growers already are finished, and others will very soon, although high winds are in this weekend’s forecast, which could cause a slight delay.

“A lot can happen in two weeks,” PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett said. “Once growers have the opportunity to get moving, they work to get this crop out as quickly as possible.”

Quality reports from Lubbock, Lamesa and Abilene indicate that color is beginning to improve. Staple, uniformity, micronaire and leaf grades all generally are good. Contamination has been low, and Verett credited educational efforts from the National Cotton Council with decreasing the amount of plastic found in modules, and growers and ginners for their diligence.

Growers should be reminded of the approaching December 7 deadline for signing into the new Agriculture Risk Coverage/Price Loss Coverage seed cotton program.

Farms with generic base acres that were planted or approved as a prevented planted commodity during the 2009-2016 crop years, are eligible to allocate generic base acres to seed cotton base. Producers also have a one-time opportunity to update their payment yield for seed cotton, which will become the PLC yield for the farm. Lastly, growers will need to elect either ARC or PLC for the new seed cotton base acres and then enroll the farm in ARC or PLC for the 2018 crop year. Click here for the the Texas A&M Ag and Food Policy Center decision aid tool.

“It is absolutely critical that growers and landowners make an appointment at their Farm Service Agency office to sign into this program as soon as possible and certainly before December 7,” Verett said.


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