USDA has taken another look at the 2010 Upland cotton crop and deemed it just a little bit better than it was one month ago. 

According to the newly released October 8 USDA Crop Production Report, U.S. Upland cotton production is forecast at 18.375 million bales, up 35,000 bales from the September 10 report.

 At the state level, Texas led the way on the increases with the 2010 crop climbing 100,000 bales to 8.9 million.

 Breaking down the Texas numbers shows that 90,000 more bales are expected to come from the High Plains and crop reporting district 1-S, although that number is slightly offset by a 10,000 bale reduction in district 1-N production.

 The extra 80,000 net bales push the High Plains production forecast to 6.16 million bales for 2010. If realized, that figure would best the 2005 crop's High Plains production record of 5.627 million bales by almost half a million bales.

 Changing district yield forecasts contributed to the differences in the estimated production on the High Plains. The 10,000 bale decline that brought the district 1-N estimate down to 1.67 million bales was created by a modest six pound decrease in the forecast yield.

 On the positive side, yields in district 1-S were raised 15 pounds, to 759 pounds per acre, which increased estimated production in that district to 4.49 million bales.

 As was noted last week the High Plains harvest is getting off to a very good start. Early returns, which have been heavily weighted to the dryland side so far, are looking good as reports from the field indicate strong yields coming from both dryland and irrigated cotton and everything getting solid quality readings.