Thanks to favorable weather, harvest activity on the Texas High Plains increased fairly significantly over the past week, with more defoliant being sprayed in places that did not get a hard enough freeze to completely prepare the plant for harvest.
Both the Lubbock and Lamesa cotton classing offices have issued their first reports, and early numbers indicate some light spot and shorter staple, which can be fairly common early in the season.
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As of yesterday, the Lubbock office had classed 24,205 bales from 29 gins. Predominate color was 32. Average length was 33.81. The Lamesa office had classed 31,144 bales from 17 gins. Predominate color in Lamesa was 11, and average length was 33.6.
Clear skies forecasted for the next week all but guarantee that by this time next week, harvest will be in full swing and by the end of the month, all gins across the Texas High Plains likely will be running. Overall yield estimates will become more accurate over the next couple of weeks as more cotton is harvested, but growers continue to report mixed conditions and yields.
Markets rallied over the past week and at press time, December futures were at just over 65 cents. This is due partly to encouraging news on the trade front, increased sales, and potential weather issues in the Southeast that could impact harvest in that area.