LUBBOCK,August 1, 2003 By Shawn Wade
Representativesfrom the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, including PCG Executive Vice PresidentSteve Verett, traveled to Washington, DC July 22-24.
Thepurpose of the trip was two-fold. First, the Lubbock contingent participated asco-sponsors with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for a reception honoring newlyelected 19th District Representative Randy Neugebauer. Secondly, thegroup made numerous legislative contacts, including a meeting with the TexasSenatorial delegation to discuss issues critical to the area.
TheWest Texas contingent, which included business people and Chamber of Commercerepresentatives from Lubbock, Big Spring, Midland, Odessa and Seminole,received legislative updates on a wide ranging set of issues.
Briefingswere held with staff members from the offices of Senators Kay Bailey Hutchisonand John Cornyn, The group also met with Senate and House Agriculture Committeestaff members and sat down with 17th District Representative CharlesStenholm of Stamford and newly elected 19th District RepresentativeRandy Neugebauer of Lubbock.
Policyareas discussed by the group included the latest developments on trade,agriculture, and energy.
Verettnoted that the Chamber trip proved to be a timely one and provided a perfectopportunity to discuss a number of important issues pertaining to agriculturethat are expected to be taken up after the Congress returns from the Augustrecess.
Verettreported that during the trip he had been able to discuss issues such as theneed for a 2003 crop disaster program; the devastating effects recent U.S.trade pacts have had on cotton, especially the severe impact it has had on theU.S. textile industry; Agricultural Appropriations legislation and theimportance of defending the mechanisms of the 2002 Farm Bill and allowing themto function as designed; and, implementation issues for conservation programs.
LUBBOCK,August 1, 2003 By Shawn Wade
Signingup for the 2001-2002 Crop Disaster Program has been a challenging process formany growers, but not for the reasons many might expect.
Yes,the program is complicated, but most information already in the computer andaccessible to the folks at the Farm Service Agency.
Infact, one of the more challenging aspects of the process has just been gettinginto the office to complete the application. Fortunately, the overlappingpriorities have been juggled quite nicely by FSA employees and the processcontinues to move forward.
Oneaspect of the program that producers do not need to worry about right know iswhether or not they will run out of time to sign-up for the program before theycan get down to the FSA office. Officially, the 2001-2002 CDP sign-up windowends August 25, 2003 and leaves plenty of time for setting appointments andgetting to the FSA office. Due to the number of applications that some countiesmust handle some offices are already scheduling CDP appointments for after theAugust 25 date.
Itis important to note that the regulations governing the program DO provide foran extension of the sign-up period. The rules allow the FSA DeputyAdministrator the discretion to set a later date as necessary.
Italso provides growers who did not qualify for benefits for the crop lossportion of the program, time to study whether they can qualify for assistancebased on reduced crop quality.
The2001-2002 Quality Loss program will be figured on a bale-by-bale basiscomparing the average quality of each bale to an average quality for thecounty. A 20 percent decrease in the average loan value of a bale compared tothe county average will trigger a payment under this section.
TexasCooperative Extension Risk Management Specialist Jay Yates has prepared a shortsummary of the Quality loss program to help producers make this determination.
Itis important to note that producers who only suffered quality losses will haveto contact FSA in order to determine their eligibility.
Acopy of the TCE publication is available on the PCG website at: www.plainscotton.org
TexasCooperative Extension will conduct a series of Counter-cyclical PaymentWorkshops, sponsored by Plains Cotton Growers, at three locations around theHigh Plains on August 5 and 6. Times and location for the workshop nearest youare:
August5 9:00 a.m.-Plainview,Ollie Liner Center
2:00p.m.-Muleshoe, Bailey County
August6 9:00 a.m.-Brownfield,Terry County
LivestockBarn (2 miles north of
Brownfieldon FM 137)
Advanceregistration is not required to attend the workshops. Anyone interested inobtaining additional information may contact Dr. Jackie Smith or Jay Yates atthe Lubbock Research and Extension at 806-746-6101.