LUBBOCK, Texas – The 2005 High Plains cotton crop is about 100,000 acres shorter than it was last week, following a weekend series of hailstorms that devastated fields in Hockley and surrounding counties.

Reports from the Lubbock Avalanche Journal peg losses at up to $20 million for the region.

"I just hate these late season hail events. They make me sick," said Texas Extension cotton specialist Randy Boman, from the Lubbock Research and Extension Center.

Roger Haldenby, Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., said observers near Slaton estimated 50,000 acres damaged by the weekend storms. “Extension personnel in Hockley County have tallied between 15,000 and 25,000 acres. Losses to the north and west of Muleshoe and in Hale County are still being assessed.”

e-mail: rsmith@primediabusiness.com