TEXAS UPLAND Cotton District Estimates published recently by Texas Agricultural Statistics Service show a further reduction of 200,000 bales from the November forecast. Much of this reduction is coming from the estimates for District 1, which comprises the area approximately equivalent to the Plains Cotton Grower's 25 county production area.

Texas produced 5.05 million bales of cotton in 1999. According to the latest estimates this will be slashed to only 4.3 million for the current year. Many growers and ginners feel the final count may be even lower because of the poorer qualities and yields they are seeing as the harvest closes.

Even at just 45 cents per pound, this would represent a loss of more than $160 million in farm income compared to last year.

The estimated yields for the northern part of District 1 were 627 pounds per acre in October.

By November this had been trimmed to 621 pounds. and in the December report the estimated yield per acre has been sliced to only 589 pounds. District 1-N is predominantly irrigated production.

The same pattern can be seen in District 1-S, which has a greater dryland acreage. The projected yield per acre has dropped from 382 pounds in October through November's 372 pounds, down to just 350 pounds in the December report.

TASS reports that of the 6.3 million acres planted to cotton in the state this year some 3.89 million were planted in districts 1-N and 1-S. The latest surveys conducted to determine harvested acres show the state lost 23.8% of those acres. District 1-N has lost 140,000 or 15.73% of its 890,000 planted acres while almost three quarters of a million acres, or 24.66 percent, has disappeared from the 3 million reported planted in District 1-S.