Texas Agriculture April 21, 2017 : Page 12

Cotton, soybean acreage up, others fall across Texas By Jessica Domel Multimedia Editor There will be fewer fields of rice, wheat, peanuts and corn across Tex-as this year. Those crops will likely make way for more cotton, soybeans and other crops, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA NASS). than all the other states combined.” Fifty-eight percent of the cotton being planted this year will be grown in Texas, which means all eyes will be on Texas weather. “So far, the cotton planting is com-ing along very nicely,” Verett said. “The Rio Grande Valley is off to a good start. The Coastal Bend is off to a good start. We’ll be seeing cot-ton planted in Central Texas pret-ty quick, and then here in another month, we’re going to be planting on the High Plains.” Pima cotton acres are forecast at 17,000 acres. That’s unchanged over last year. ducers can actually grow this year. They purchased another five million bushels last week. The week before that was 8.5 million,” Cleveland said. “We’re on pace to actually out-run USDA’s prediction of 245 million bushels of production. We think we’ll be probably 40 or 50 over that, which usually in a supply and demand sce-nario works out good for growers.” Sugarcane aphids continue to be a problem, but they’re one farmers can typically handle with diligence and increased scouting. prices in peanuts are going to make peanut payments very low, if there even is one. There’s several factors that planted into this whole scenario.” In a typical year, farmers plant between 170,000-190,000 acres of peanuts in Texas, which is a more re-alistic number than the forecast, ac-cording to Nutt. Peanut planting begins the first week of May. Harvest will follow in October before the first freeze. COTTON NASS’ March Prospective Plant-ings report reveals farmers intend to plant around 6.9 million acres of cotton this year. The 22 percent increase over last year can likely be attributed to two main factors, according to Steve Verett, executive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. “For farmers, their most recent experience is fresh on their mind. Generally speaking, when you look at the cotton crop across Texas, from the Panhandle and the very top of Texas all the way down to the Rio Grande, it was an above-average crop. Quality was excellent,” Verett said. The second factor, according to Verett, is price. “When you look at prices since 2015, cotton is up about 13 percent. Corn is down 8.5 percent. Soybeans are down 5.5 percent, and wheat is down about 32 percent,” Verett said. Nationally, farmers forecast they’ll plant about 12 million acres of cotton this season. That’s up about 21 percent. “When you look at the increase in the crop across the United States, Texas is going to increase 1.25 mil-lion acres,” Verett said. “That’s more CORN PEANUTS SORGHUM The rise in cotton prices is also af-fecting this year’s sorghum acreage in Texas. Farmers reported to NASS they plan to plant around 1.8 million acres. That’s down five percent over 2016. “I think if you look at the overall trend in grain sorghum, our acres have been going up. China coming into the market had a huge effect on our acres. What we’re seeing today is some of China leaving the market as well as a more robust price for cot-ton, which competes for acres with sorghum,” Wayne Cleveland, execu-tive director of Texas Sorghum Pro-ducers, said. As other crops fail around plant-ing, farmers typically turn to grain sorghum. Cleveland predicts Texas will end up with around 1.9 or 2 mil-lion acres of sorghum this year. “China is continuing to buy grain sorghum at a very robust pace. We think this will outstrip what pro-The increase in cotton acreage is directly affecting the amount of pea-nuts planted in Texas this year. Farmers are forecast to plant around 240,000 acres, which could be a bit on the high side, according to Shelly Nutt, executive director of Tex-as Peanut Producers. “Two years ago, in 2015, our acres were about 170,000. Then 2016 rolls along and we get this huge number, 305,000 acres, because a whole lot of people planted peanuts rather than cotton because cotton prices were down,” Nutt said. At that time, cotton herbicides weren’t as effective and farmers were fighting herbicide-resistant weeds. Farmers also planted peanuts to take advantage of higher Price Loss Cover-age (PLC) payments through the farm bill. “When they put a pencil to it, they could plant peanuts and make more money,” Nutt said. “In 2017, cotton prices are up. There’s some cotton herbicides that are now available like dicamba. So they’re seeing some cot-ton herbicides that are effective. High Corn acreage is also forecast to be down this year. Farmers report-ed to NASS they’ll plant about 2.45 million acres. David Gibson, executive director of Texas Corn Producers, reports the forecast 16 percent decrease could be due to low commodity prices. “We’ve come off of a good cotton crop across a lot of the state,” Gib-son said. “There’s some acres mov-ing to cotton. I know their planting intentions were up significantly acreage-wise for the state. It’s part of that. A lot of it is the price.” Agreeable weather conditions helped many farmers from the Val-ley to the Red River get their crop in on time, and in some instances, earlier than normal. Feral hogs continue to root up and damage planted acres, so many farmers are now replanting for the second and third time. Gibson points out that although NASS is reporting a decrease from last year’s acreage, it’s important to note, 2016 was an anomaly. “Even though we’re down to 2.45 here in Texas for 2017, that’s still 12 A PRIL 21 , 2017

Cotton, Soybean Acreage Up, Others Fall Across Texas

Jessica Domel

There will be fewer fields of rice, wheat, peanuts and corn across Texas this year. Those crops will likely make way for more cotton, soybeans and other crops, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA NASS).

COTTON

NASS’ March Prospective Plantings report reveals farmers intend to plant around 6.9 million acres of cotton this year.

The 22 percent increase over last year can likely be attributed to two main factors, according to Steve Verett, executive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

“For farmers, their most recent experience is fresh on their mind. Generally speaking, when you look at the cotton crop across Texas, from the Panhandle and the very top of Texas all the way down to the Rio Grande, it was an above-average crop. Quality was excellent,” Verett said.

The second factor, according to Verett, is price.

“When you look at prices since 2015, cotton is up about 13 percent. Corn is down 8.5 percent. Soybeans are down 5.5 percent, and wheat is down about 32 percent,” Verett said.

Nationally, farmers forecast they’ll plant about 12 million acres of cotton this season. That’s up about 21 percent.

“When you look at the increase in the crop across the United States, Texas is going to increase 1.25 million acres,” Verett said. “That’s more than all the other states combined.”

Fifty-eight percent of the cotton being planted this year will be grown in Texas, which means all eyes will be on Texas weather.


“So far, the cotton planting is coming along very nicely,” Verett said. “The Rio Grande Valley is off to a good start. The Coastal Bend is off to a good start. We’ll be seeing cotton planted in Central Texas pretty quick, and then here in another month, we’re going to be planting on the High Plains.”

Pima cotton acres are forecast at 17,000 acres. That’s unchanged over last year.

SORGHUM

The rise in cotton prices is also affecting this year’s sorghum acreage in Texas.

Farmers reported to NASS they plan to plant around 1.8 million acres. That’s down five percent over 2016.

“I think if you look at the overall trend in grain sorghum, our acres have been going up. China coming into the market had a huge effect on our acres. What we’re seeing today is some of China leaving the market as well as a more robust price for cotton, which competes for acres with sorghum,” Wayne Cleveland, executive director of Texas Sorghum Producers, said.

As other crops fail around planting, farmers typically turn to grain sorghum. Cleveland predicts Texas will end up with around 1.9 or 2 million acres of sorghum this year.

“China is continuing to buy grain sorghum at a very robust pace. We think this will outstrip what producers can actually grow this year. They purchased another five million bushels last week. The week before that was 8.5 million,” Cleveland said. “We’re on pace to actually outrun USDA’s prediction of 245 million bushels of production. We think we’ll be probably 40 or 50 over that, which usually in a supply and demand scenario works out good for growers.”

Sugarcane aphids continue to be a problem, but they’re one farmers can typically handle with diligence and increased scouting.

PEANUTS

The increase in cotton acreage is directly affecting the amount of peanuts planted in Texas this year.

Farmers are forecast to plant around 240,000 acres, which could be a bit on the high side, according to Shelly Nutt, executive director of Texas Peanut Producers.

“Two years ago, in 2015, our acres were about 170,000. Then 2016 rolls along and we get this huge number, 305,000 acres, because a whole lot of people planted peanuts rather than cotton because cotton prices were down,” Nutt said.

At that time, cotton herbicides weren’t as effective and farmers were fighting herbicide-resistant weeds. Farmers also planted peanuts to take advantage of higher Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments through the farm bill.

“When they put a pencil to it, they could plant peanuts and make more money,” Nutt said. “In 2017, cotton prices are up. There’s some cotton herbicides that are now available like dicamba. So they’re seeing some cotton herbicides that are effective. High prices in peanuts are going to make peanut payments very low, if there even is one. There’s several factors that planted into this whole scenario.”

In a typical year, farmers plant between 170,000-190,000 acres of peanuts in Texas, which is a more realistic number than the forecast, according to Nutt.

Peanut planting begins the first week of May. Harvest will follow in October before the first freeze.

CORN

Corn acreage is also forecast to be down this year. Farmers reported to NASS they’ll plant about 2.45 million acres.

David Gibson, executive director of Texas Corn Producers, reports the forecast 16 percent decrease could be due to low commodity prices.

“We’ve come off of a good cotton crop across a lot of the state,” Gibson said. “There’s some acres moving to cotton. I know their planting intentions were up significantly acreage-wise for the state. It’s part of that. A lot of it is the price.”

Agreeable weather conditions helped many farmers from the Valley to the Red River get their crop in on time, and in some instances, earlier than normal.

Feral hogs continue to root up and damage planted acres, so many farmers are now replanting for the second and third time.

Gibson points out that although NASS is reporting a decrease from last year’s acreage, it’s important to note, 2016 was an anomaly.

“Even though we’re down to 2.45 here in Texas for 2017, that’s still above the 2.3 that was in 2015. On a historic basis, our acreage is still at or a little bit above what we would consider normal acreage for Texas,” Gibson said. “If you look at a national basis, we’re still running a little bit above what would be a national basis.”

RICE

There will be 15 percent fewer acres of rice in Texas this year.

Farmers reported to NASS they expected to plant around 165,000 acres.

“Prices are extremely low,” Galen Franz, Victoria County rice farmer, said in an interview with the Texas Farm Bureau Radio Network.

Last year, Texas rice farmers dealt with a disease problem and rainfall prior to harvest. It hurt the milling yield, which delayed the marketing of the 2016 crop, which now weighs on the 2017 crop.

The crop is already in the ground for most, and is looking good in the Victoria area.

“We’ve gotten good submoisture through the winter. Farmers have taken advantage of that, it looks like. The crop has progressed about 70 percent from what I hear,” Franz said. “The rains have hit in some places, but not in others.”

SOYBEANS

A higher price on soybeans earlier this year prompted some farmers to plant more of the crop. Soybean acreage in Texas is forecast to be around 180,000 acres this year. That’s up nine percent from 2016.

“The largest factor causing producers to switch to soybeans is the reduced profitability of corn and grain sorghum and the lower cost of production associated with farming soybeans,” Daniel Berglund, chair of the Texas Soybean Board and Association, said.

Soybean farmers should be mindful of the weather this season. Berglund reports soybeans do not handle stress very well, and weather is always an issue.

“This year, the price for soybeans that is driving planting intentions could very well not be available at harvest time due to all producers facing the same planting concerns. Utilizing price risk management tools is more important now than ever before,” Berglund said.

WINTER WHEAT

Wheat acreage in Texas may be down more than it appears in the most recent NASS report. The Prospective Plantings report indicates winter wheat acreage is down four percent to 4.8 million acres.

When you look at the long-term average, Texas’ wheat acreage is actually down about 20 percent, according to Steelee Fischbacher, director of policy and marketing for the Texas Wheat Producers Board and Association.

“Our usual average plantings of wheat acres in Texas is closer to six million acres. This year, we’re at 4.8 million. So we’re definitely down in our number of acres,” Fischbacher said. “Most of that is attributed to the price. The price range we’re at is just at a lower tier, and it’s just not profitable for our guys who are trying to decide what they’re going to plant for the year.”

The farm bill reference price for wheat is at $5.50. That’s below the cost of production.

“When we compare the prices that our farmers are getting today in the market of $3.30 a bushel, there’s quite a bit of difference there when you start talking about if it’s profitable to be growing wheat right now,” Fischbacher said. “That’s definitely something that’s impacted our acres. We also expect a lot of our acres to be grazed out.”

Rust is also a factor. Some areas are seeing it, but others are not. Fischbacher said it’s shaping up to be a moderate year for lead and stripe rust.

Wheat harvest in South Texas starts at the end of April and ends in mid-July in the Panhandle.

OATS

Oat acreage is projected at 480,000 acres this year in Texas. That’s an increase of two percent.

DRY HAY

An estimated 4.3 million acres of hay will be harvested in Texas this year. That’s down 11 percent over last year.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/Cotton%2C+Soybean+Acreage+Up%2C+Others+Fall+Across+Texas+/2765435/401730/article.html.

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