"If you’ve got cotton now, I sure wouldn’t hold it a long
period of time," said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service cotton marketing
expert. (Texas AgriLife Extension Service photo by Whit Weems)COLLEGE STATION – A Texas AgriLife Extension Service economist advised Texas
cotton producers to consider selling sooner rather than later – assuming they
have a decent offer.
market is saying not to wait for higher prices,” said Dr. John
Robinson, AgriLife Extension cotton economist. “I would say that if somebody
has a fairly decent contract, I would be looking to sell on any rally.”
Texas cotton has been harvested, and much is sitting in warehouses waiting to be
sold, Robinson said.
I have been talking to are not seeing many inquiries from buyers for their
product,” he said. “As a matter of fact, that doesn’t surprise me as the market
is shrinking down, and buyers want to wait and see how low it’s going to
number of things contributed to this situation, Robinson said. World supply
uncertainties, which had been driving prices up, were pretty much resolved
during December. And though the U.S. Department of Agriculture “whittled away”
at its estimate of Texas yields and production, markets continued to be
depressed from sluggish global economic growth.
of U.S. cotton is exported to Europe, which is having a recession of its own.
Sluggish economic growth both here and abroad mean weak demand for consumer
goods, which in turn reduces demand for raw cotton, he said.
high prices have led mills to switch to more man-made fibers,” Robinson
noted there was a rally in future prices on Jan. 3, but that was in the context
of a higher stock and commodity markets across the board.
it was what we call a risk-on day, with the money going back into the riskier
assets. So that’s helping to boost from the outside market standpoint, and
that’s boosting ag commodity futures and cotton in particular.”
may be more rallies in the coming months, but Robinson questioned if they would
be high enough to be worth paying to store cotton while waiting.
see a slightly weaker picture for next year than for now. If you’ve got cotton
now, I sure wouldn’t hold it a long period of time,” he said.
information on the current Texas drought and wildfire alerts can be found on the
AgriLife Extension Agricultural Drought Task Force website athttp://agrilife.tamu.edu/drought/ .
Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries:
The 12 Texas AgriLife Extension Service
Central: December rainfall helped small grains.
Stocker cattle were grazing on winter wheat and oats, which allowed some
livestock producers to extend grazing. Hay supplies continued to be short.
Bend: Some areas received 2-5
inches of rain over the last two weeks, giving hope to agricultural producers
and improving winter-pasture conditions. Other areas received only a trace.
However, many ponds remained dry, and soil moisture was still well below levels
needed for spring planting. Livestock producers continued supplemental feeding
of cattle and purchasing hay from outside the area. The pecan harvest was nearly
over. Quality was good, considering the year’s growing conditions.
East: December rains significantly improved
conditions across the region. The rains raised water levels in lakes, ponds and
creeks. Winter pastures that were planted early showed good growth. In some
cases, producers were already able to graze cattle on winter pastures. However,
many producers continued to purchase and feed hay. Calving season began.
West: A snow before Christmas
brought from 0.5 inch to as much as 3 inches of moisture. Cold daytime
temperatures and below freezing temperatures at night finally gave way to a few
warmer days with highs from the mid to upper 60s. Producers lost cattle in some
areas due to poor forage quality and excessive mesquite bean consumption. Most
pecan orchards were harvested. Pecan yields were low but quality was fair.
Winter wheat and oats under irrigation were mostly in poor to fair condition
with a few plots in good condition. Rangeland remained in poor condition. Cattle
were in poor to fair condition with producers providing alfalfa cubes, molasses
and syrup tubs. Some producers continued to sell cattle. Early calving herds
were expected to begin calving soon. Producers finished shipping earlier
North: After December rains, soil moisture levels
were short to adequate. Small grains and winter pastures were doing well. Most
stock ponds received some runoff water. Cattle were in fair to good condition.
Producers were still looking for hay. Feral hogs continued to be a major
Panhandle: Rain and snow fell over most the region.
Soil-moisture levels varied from adequate to very short, with most counties
reporting short to very short. The cotton harvest was nearly complete. Winter
wheat was in excellent to very poor condition, with most areas reporting poor to
very poor. Dryland wheat was just beginning to emerge with the recent moisture.
Rangeland and pastures varied from fair to very poor condition with most
reporting very poor. Livestock producers continued supplemental feeding of
Plains: Some areas received
moisture in December and saw improvement in rangeland and pastures as a result.
Weather was mild with daytime highs from 50 to 60 degrees, and nighttime lows in
the 30s. Small grains showed significant growth. Winter wheat was in good
condition, and producers were able to turn cattle on to it for grazing before
the end of December. The condition of livestock began to improve. Hay supplies
remained short, and producers hoped to bale winter wheat not being grazed. Some
counties lifted their burn bans.
South: Scattered light rain throughout the region
slightly improved soil-moisture levels. In the west part of the region,
soil-moisture levels were from very short to adequate. All other parts of the
region had short to very short soil-moisture levels. McMullen and Webb counties
reported 2.75 to 3.5 inches of rain, but stock-tank water levels remained low in
those areas, as well as in most of the region. Livestock producers continued to
provide supplemental feed as forage supplies remained low, and rangeland and
pastures were in poor condition. In Frio County, the planting of wheat and oats
wound down and most of the crop had emerged. Producers in the Zavala County area
had a difficult time harvesting both fresh and regular spinach fields due to wet
conditions. In Hidalgo County, corn was maturing, and growers continued to
pre-irrigate cabbage, lettuce, tomato and onion fields. Also in that county,
citrus, sugarcane and some vegetable harvesting was ongoing. In Starr County,
onions were progressing well.
Plains: Some rain and snow fell the
weekend after Christmas in most counties. Amounts varied greatly. Temperatures
were at seasonal averages for the most part with some above-average days. Cotton
ginning was completed. Burn bans were lifted in most counties, but drought
continued to impact the area. Winter wheat still suffered from drought
conditions despite the winter moisture. There was some growth of cool-season
grasses in rangeland and pastures, but livestock producers in most counties
continued to provide supplemental feed. Little or no fieldwork was being carried
out in most counties.
Southeast: Recent rains and warm days promoted
cool-season grass growth in some areas. Producers who planted earlier were
already seeing some growth. Some ponds were beginning to fill. Brazoria County
reported a total of 20 inches of rain for 2011, which was only about 37 percent
of the average of 54 inches annually.
Southwest: Recent rains promoted growth of winter
pastures and small grains. Soil-moisture levels slightly improved, but the
moisture remained very low in the deep soil profile. Winter pastures were
growing because of the recent rains and warmer temperatures, but they were still
short. Grazing conditions improved, however, and growers were sowing spring
Central: Winter arrived with cool
days, cold nights and heavy freeze warnings. Many counties reported receiving
rain during the Christmas break, but all needed more. Most burn bans were
temporarily lifted. Winter wheat and oats showed some improvement where there
was rain, but most fields remained in poor condition. Rangeland and pastures
were also in poor condition, though the rain did improve some winter grasses and
forbs enough to provide grazing. Producers continued to provide supplemental
protein and hay to livestock. Hay was in very short supply and hard to find. The
pecan harvest was mostly complete, with yields much lower than in previous
years. Many producers were preparing to heavily trim their orchards.