BeltwideProvides Glimpse Of Future

Friday, January 10, 2003               By Shawn Wade

      Withthe aftertaste of less than memorable markets and more than one unwanted hitfrom Mother Nature fresh on the minds of growers the 2003 Beltwide CottonConference delivered something somewhat unexpected – a glimpse of cautiousoptimism for the future.

      One of the main purveyors ofthat view is none other than William B. Dunavant, Jr. of Memphis, TN.

      Mr. Dunavant’s comments tothe 2003 Beltwide Cotton Conference included his thoughts on the importance ofthe U.S. Farm Bill to growers, as well as his current thoughts on the directionwe may be headed in the marketplace in 2003 and beyond.

      Not everything he said couldbe considered 100 percent positive, but at the end of the day it felt as ifthere might be some blue sky on down the line.

      On farm policy he voiced hissupport for the U.S Farm Bill as a key component of grower survival untilmarket conditions right themselves.

      Dunavant reiterated hisposition that, while he doesn’t necessarily agree with many of the specificprovisions of the U.S. farm program, he strongly supports its primary purposeof delivering critical support to U.S. farmers.

      Dunavant also highlightedthe positive direction in which U.S. and World carryover stocks were moving,pointed out an optimistic forecast for increased world consumption andcautioned growers to not move too quickly to cement 2003-4 marketing plans asthe situation continues to change over the next few months.


High PlainsCrop Exceeds 3.1 Million Bales

Friday, January 10, 2003               By Shawn Wade

      Weeklyreports from the Lubbock and Lamesa USDA Cotton Classing offices continue tocreep further above the 3 million bale level. Season to date figures for thetwo offices now total just under 3.1 million bales reviewed.

      Cottoncontinues to trickle into the offices as the final bales move from through thegin. Harvest activity is virtually completed except in isolated pockets.

      Qualitycontinues to be below the norm in many cases, especially in terms of Color andLeaf.

      Mostof the quality differences can be associated with weather patterns that broughtbeneficial rainfall, but kept growers out of the field for extended periodsduring the harvest period.

      PredominantColor-Leaf grades recorded at both Lubbock and Lamesa have been 41-4 for thepast couple of months and the season.

      Otherquality factors have also been affected during the harvest season and mostnoticeable is fact that 17 percent of the 2.5 million bales classed at theLubbock have been “Barky” bales and incurred additional loan discounts.

      Additionally,Micronaire readings have seemed to be a notch or two higher than normal asfully 50 percent or more of the bales classed at Lubbock have recorded Mikereadings greater than 4.3. Some 250,000 or so bales have also been hit withMike readings above 5.0.

      Staplelengths have been holding their own throughout the year with the season averagebeing 33.4. Staple lengths at the Lamesa office have average 33.31 so far.

      Altogetherthe final numbers on the 2003 crop could easily move above the 3.2 million balemark and rank the year as one of the best all-time.