PCG Makes Washington Rounds

Friday, May 2, 2003                      By Shawn Wade

      Acontingent of Texas cotton and corn producers made the rounds in Washington, DCearlier this week talking about the importance of keeping Farm Bill provisionsintact and urging no changes in current payment limitation rules.

      Producersrepresenting the Corn Producers Association of Texas, Texas Cotton Producers,Plains Cotton Growers, and the National Cotton Council participated in thetrip.

      Comprisingthe PCG contingent were President Mark Williams of Farwell, Vice PresidentRickey Bearden of Plains and Executive Vice President Steve Verett.

      Inaddition to the scheduled group meetings to reinforce the importance ofprotecting Farm Bill provisions, members of the groups also discussed a numberof other important issues including trade.

      Thecotton contingent took the opportunity express the industries extremedisappointment with the provisions of the recently completed Vietnam TextileTrade agreement.

      Toppingthe list of other objectives for the PCG group were consultations with the RiskManagement Agency regarding the 8-day deferred appraisal period for non-emergedcrops. Several possible remedies to the issue have been discussed and workcontinues to find a workable solution.

      PCGmet with Ann Jorgensen Director-ExternalAffairs for USDA RMA, andAlan Ott, Confidential Assistant to RMA Administrator Ross J. Davidson, aboutthe ongoing issue of deferred appraisals for non-emerged seed.

      Severalalternative solutions have been discussed to solve the situation created by themandatory deferral period.

      Thecrux of the problem is that producers who plant by the final planting date intheir county are forced to wait a minimum of 23 days before the crop can bereleased to other uses.

      For cotton imposing the full 23-day deferral period asimplemented places the producer at risk of missing an opportunity to plant andproduce a viable replacement crop.

      Inaddition to the meetings with RMA officials Verett and the PCG officers alsomet with USDA Assistant Deputy Undersecretary John Johnson and Diane Sharp,Director, Production, Emergency and Compliance Division of the USDA FarmService Agency.

      Issuesdiscussed included disaster program implementation issues, specifically thedevelopment of unharvested production factors and the implementation of the 95percent benefit cap.

      Toppriorities for PCG in coming weeks on disaster includes working with Texas FSAState Committee during development of unharvested factor that will be used indisaster payment calculation.


Cottonseed Assistance Sign-up Underway

Friday, May 2, 2003                      By Shawn Wade

         Officially, the application period for the program runsfrom May 2 through May 23, 2003. Completed forms must be submitted to FSAheadquarters by May 23, 2003 in order to be considered for payment.

         Allcompanies that ginned 2002-crop cotton are eligible for program payments.Payments are expected to be made in early June 2003.

      The2002 Cottonseed program provides some $50 million to offset 2002 crop cottonseedprice shortfalls.

      Paymentrates will be determined based on the number of applications and resultingtonnage of cottonseed for which assistance is requested. USDA estimates thatpayment rates for the 2002 program will be in the neighborhood of $8.00 perton, or about $3.00 per bale.

      Ginners who do not receive their application by May 5should contact Gene Rosera, FSA Price Support Division, at (202) 720-8481, orby e-mail at: gene_rosera@wdc.usda.gov