Tuesday’s Ag News Roundup

As harvest continues around the country, the crop that analysts have been focused on is corn. Its harvest has been running behind pace. Here’s an update…

When it comes to corn harvest in Texas, you can’t really say we’re running late. At 95 percent complete, the Texas corn harvest is one percentage point behind the five-year average, but that’s nothing to worry about. Meanwhile, harvest of sorghum and cotton in Texas is running slightly ahead of five-year averages.

As for winter wheat, the Crop Progress report shows 89 percent of the Texas wheat has been planted, moving along a little faster than the 87 percent that the five-year average indicates is normal for this point in the season. However, the portion of the crop rated as good-to-excellent is just 46 percent. That’s down 3 percentage points from last week, but also 3 points better than a year ago at this time.

Going back to cotton, it’s been a difficult year with developmental delays a major problem. But, happily, we can report a lot of fields are looking pretty good:

That’s Texas A&M cotton specialist Seth Byrd, who tells us that, around the region, yields of 3, 3 ½, even 4 bales an acre are being reported:

So, some fields doing quite well, which is encouraging given all the hurdles that local cotton had to clear.

What would really boost cotton farmers is restoration of price supports through Farm Bill programs. At the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Convention in Kansas City, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said he wants to find a way to help cotton producers, noting that a few years back the cotton industry nobly surrendered price supports after the U.S. suffered a defeat in an international trade ruling:

Perdue expressed confidence that Congress will find a way to establish a new price support program for cotton, although which specific model will be adopted remains to be seen. In the meantime, Perdue said there is consideration of temporarily reviving the cotton ginning cost share assistance program that was instituted on a one-year basis last year.



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