by Mary Jane Buerkle
FIRST COLD SNAP ARRIVES EARLY IN PCG REGION
By Mary Jane Buerkle
In yet another occurrence that can be described as “very 2020,” the first
cold snap of the fall arrived swiftly earlier this week, sending
temperatures plummeting to record levels and plentiful rainfall off the
Early forecasts showed potential for a freeze and even snow in the
northern Panhandle, which already has been rocked by adverse weather
events throughout the season. What cotton remains could have been
drastically affected, but it appears that the snow eluded most of the
region. Temperatures stayed in the upper 30s, except for areas near
Dalhart that dipped to 33.
Time will tell how much of an effect the weather had on acreage that is in
the final stages of development before preparation for harvest. Quentin
Shieldknight, a grower near Spearman, said they missed the snow and
freezing temperatures, but he is concerned about how maturity was
impacted. However, he said they have dryland acreage they plan to
defoliate next week and is encouraged about its potential.
Ryan Williams, whose family has acreage near Dalhart, said they had light
snow but no accumulation, and temperatures in the lower 30s.
“I think it could hurt some of the later cotton,” Williams said. “Three
days in the 30s wasn’t really what it needed to finish and mature bolls.”
Dr. Murilo Maeda, Extension cotton agronomist in Lubbock, said there isn’t
much research data to determine just how much of an effect temperatures
hovering in the 30s without freezing would have on cotton at this stage
because those temperatures at this time of year are so rare.
“I am concerned about cotton acreage particularly in the northern
Panhandle, and also later-planted cotton in other areas where the
temperatures were around 40,” Maeda said, noting that he and fellow
Extension agronomist Dr. Jourdan Bell along with Dr. Brendan Kelly at
Texas Tech’s Fiber and Biopolymer Research Center will be studying the
effects with regard to fiber maturity once cotton finishes in several of
their trial fields.
Most of the PCG service area received only light rain and drizzle this
week, but the front brought significant rainfall off the Caprock. Some
areas around U.S. Highway 277 from south of San Angelo all the way up to
Seymour received in excess of seven to eight inches of rain over two to
Overall, cotton acreage in the area continues to progress and conditions
generally range from fair to excellent overall. December futures are still
in the 64 to 65 cent range at press time, but today’s World Agricultural
Supply and Demand Estimates report from the USDA could cause some movement
in the market.
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USDA REMINDS FARMERS OF SEPTEMBER 30
DEADLINE TO UPDATE SAFETY-NET
PROGRAM CROP YIELDS
Don’t Miss This One-Time Opportunity – First Since 2014
USDA’s Farm Service Agency reminds farm owners that they have a one-time
opportunity to update Price Loss Coverage program yields for covered
commodities on the farm. The deadline is September 30, 2020, to update
yields, which are used to calculate the PLC payments for 2020 through
2023. Additionally, producers who elected Agriculture Risk Coverage should
also consider updating their yields.
“The last time farmers could update yields for these important safety-net
programs was in 2014,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “It is the
farm owner’s choice whether to update or keep existing yields. So, if you
rent, you’ll need to communicate with your landlord who will be the one to
sign off on the yield updates.”
Updating yields requires the signature of one owner on a farm and not all
owners. If a yield update is not made, no action is required to maintain
the existing base crop yield on file with FSA.
For program payments, updated yields will apply beginning with the 2020
crop year which, should payments trigger, will be paid out in October of
Determining Yield Updates
The updated yield will be equal to 90% of the average yield per planted
acre in crop years 2013-2017. That excludes any year where the applicable
covered commodity was not planted and is subject to the ratio obtained by
dividing the 2008-2012 average national yield by the 2013-2017 average
national yield for the covered commodity.
The chart at this link provides the ratio obtained by this calculation:
If the reported yield in any year is less than 75 percent of the 2013-2017
average county yield, the yield will be substituted with 75 percent of the
county average yield.
PLC yields may be updated on a covered commodity-by-covered commodity
basis by submitting FSA form CCC-867 to include a farm owner’s signature.
For more information, reference resources, and decision tools, visit
http://www.farmers.gov/arc-plc. Contact your local FSA county office for
assistance at http://www.farmers.gov/service-center-locator.
Farm Stress: Help and Hope
“Cotton News” is a weekly publication of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.
For additional information contact PCG at 806-792-4904