USDA Makes Disaster Announcements

Friday,March 28, 2003                            ByShawn Wade

      USDASecretary Ann Veneman has announced that sign-up for the crop assistanceprogram included in the Agricultural Assistance Act of 2003 will begin June 6,2003 with payments going out shortly thereafter.

      Amongthe details announced March 28 was the fact that the law specifies thatpayments be calculated using the same formula used for the 2000 crop year.

      Forpurposes of calculating the 95% Benefit Cap it means producers will have theirexpected crop yield valued at the higher of the Actual Production History (APH)price election or, if that price is not available, a 5-year average pricepublished by the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

      Consultationwith USDA also clarified that the yield used to calculate the 95% Benefit Capwill be the same as the one used to calculate their disaster payment - thehigher of the producers APH yield or the 5-year NASS County Average yield. Thiswould be the same yield option as provided in the 2000 crop disaster program tocalculate disaster benefits.

      Otherannouncements pertaining to cotton that producers will find interesting arethat the $50 million Cottonseed Assistance program included in the legislationwill likely begin sometime after May 1 when the 2002 ginning season has beenofficially completed.

      Additionaldetails on disaster provisions will be reported as they become known.


PCG To Hold 46th Annual Meeting - April 3

Friday,March 28, 2003                            ByShawn Wade

      The Plains Cotton Growers 46th Annual Meeting is right around thecorner and producers and cotton support industry representatives are encouragedto attend.

      PCGactivities are being held in conjunction with the Texas Cotton Ginners’Association Convention & Trade Show, April 3-4, at the Lubbock MemorialCivic Center (LMCC).

      ThePCG meeting will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and the program willstart promptly at 9:00 a.m. in the LMCC Banquet Hall.

      PCGis excited about the speakers scheduled for this year’s meeting. The PCGline-up includes: Ross J. Davidson, Administrator of USDA’s Risk ManagementAgency (RMA); John Maguire, Vice President of Washington Operations for theNational Cotton Council from Washington, DC; and Dr. Mechel S. Paggi, Directorof the Center for Agricultural Business at California State University-Fresnoof Fresno, California.

      ThePCG agenda will include remarks from PCG President Mark Williams of Farwell.There will also be reports from PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett andPlains Cotton Improvement Committee Chairman Dale Swinburn of Tulia.


FEMA/NASA Encourages Farmers & Ranchers To Report PotentialColumbia Shuttle Debris

      Withthe coming of spring, trees, bushes, vines and grasses are beginning to grow.Eventually, this growth could cover unfound shuttle material and make itdifficult or impossible to find. Several critical parts that will become lessvaluable if they are not found soon remain unaccounted for.

      TheColumbia Shuttle Recovery Team is deeply appreciative of those who have helpeddiscover and retrieve shuttle material to date and encourages farmers andlandowners to stay alert for potential shuttle debris, especially as they goabout the process of preparing land for the 2003 growing season.

      To date, the farthest west that Columbia debris has been located and recoveredin Texas is in Lamb County, near Littlefield.

      Anypiece of shuttle material could prove to be an essential piece forinvestigators trying to understand what happened on February 1, 2003.

      Ifyou find something you believe may be shuttle material, please report itimmediately to the Columbia Shuttle Recovery Center using this toll-freehotline:


     If you have had problems getting through on thetoll-free telephone line, if you have not been called back about a previousreport, or if the material has not been picked up, you are encouraged to pleasecall again.


46thPCG Annual Meeting

April3, 2003


LubbockMemorial Civic Center



8:30 a.m. Registration

9:00a.m. Program Start