High Plains of Texas is gearing up with its cotton harvest

Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, USA

With high humidity levels putting a brake on cotton harvest recently, producers are going on high gear this week to harvest cotton. Given the high expectation in yield, cotton harvest may continue till Christmas. Stakeholders of High Plains’ cotton industry gathered this morning at Lubbock-based Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. (PCG), to talk about the harvest, yield and quality of the crop.

The moisture was in the minds of people, as it delayed the harvest in the region. Producers are sensitive to humidity levels while harvesting because it can impact the quality of cotton during the ginning process said, Seth Byrd, Extension Cotton Specialist, TAMU in Lubbock. On average the harvest in the region has reached one-third mark.Variability in terms of yield and quality across the region is one to watch for this season.

Lubbock county has reached about 40% of its harvest mark and progressing north of Lubbock, harvest is around 25% said, Mark Brown, Director of Field Services at PCG. Variability has been influenced by the late plating date well into June, said Brown.

While some producers felt the yield is not turning out to what they expected to start with, the High Plains will have a good crop. The November USDA puts the High Plains region’s production at 5.375 million bales (480 lbs. each). In regions, where there was timely rainfall and best conditions, dryland has been yielding 1.5 to 2 bales per acre and irrigated lands up to 4 bales/acre.

Harvest has begun in high gear, this week and may continue through Thanksgiving well into Christmas. Two of the high cotton growing regions of the world, High Plains of Texas and India are expected to have higher crop this season.