NASS increases Texas high plains cotton production estimate for 2017

Tom Hinde

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its cotton crop production estimate for the Texas High Plains region. Area growers will produce 5.695 million bales of upland cotton in 2017, according to NASS. If production estimates hold true, it reflects the largest crop in Plains Cotton Growers' (PCG) 41-county service area history.

The estimate is a 465,000-bale increase from August's estimate of 5.23 million bales. NASS says most of the increase will be in the Northern High Plains which includes Hutchinson and surrounding counties. The Northern High Plains is projected to harvest 1.165 million acres, up 305,000 acres from the August report. Planted acres in the north were also adjusted upward to 1.325 million acres.

Statewide, the production number increased by 500,000 bales from the August report. The nationwide estimate for upland cotton is at 21 million bales, up 27 percent from 2016. However, the NASS report cautioned the full impact of Hurricane Harvey and Irma will drive the nationwide numbers down. Those impacts are expected to be reflected in the October NASS report.