Cotton production in Dawson County topped the 325,000-bale mark in 2017 for the third straight year, according to information from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
    The USDA agency released its final 2017 cotton production estimates on Thursday, showing Dawson County produced 343,200 bales this past year.
    That figure is based on a standard average bale weight of 480 pounds.
    According to production records for the past 80 years, it is the first time ever that cotton production here has topped the 300,000 mark for three straight years.
    Dawson County produced 328,800 bales in 2015 and 339,600 in 2016.
    The 2017 production total also is the fourth-largest in Dawson County history, exceeded only by the all-time record of 400,000 in 2005 and totals of 393,000 in 2007 and 381,900 in 2010.
    The NASS report shows that 332,100 acres of cotton were planted in the county last year and 274,900 of those acres were harvested. Average yield was 599 pounds per harvested acre.
    Dryland acreage here produced an average of almost one bale per acre in 2017, yielding 476 pounds per acre for total dryland production of 221,700 bales on 223,500 harvested acres.
     Local farmers planted 277,000 acres of dryland cotton in 2017.


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