PCG/Monsanto Discuss Technology Issues

LUBBOCK,August 22, 2003                    ByShawn Wade

      Representativesfrom Monsanto Corporation and Plains Cotton Growers met earlier this week todiscuss a variety of issues identified as important to High Plains producers.

      Themeeting covered topics ranging from technology pricing across regions andinternationally, to discussing new ways to make technology affordable andattractive to all High Plains producers.

      Oneof the concerns raised by the PCG contingent was the significant difference inthe technology fee for the same technology on different cotton varieties.Currently, Monsanto sets technology fees based on the variety type, eitherpicker or stripper, in an effort to price the technology according to theplanting region, growing conditions and other factors that impact its overallbenefit to the producer.

      PCGrepresentatives explained that setting the technology price based on whether ornot the variety is called a picker or a stripper-type doesnŐt always provide anadequate differentiation. This is especially true on the High Plains where manynew varieties of cotton are blurring the lines that are used to separate pickerand stripper varieties.

      Itwas suggested that a better alternative would be to consider a regional pricingstructure that provided a set fee for a given technology regardless of thevarietyŐs designation.

      Alsodiscussed was MonsantoŐs ongoing effort to increase the use of RoundupReadyand/or Bollgard technology in dryland production systems.

      Aprevious collaboration between Monsanto and PCG eventually resulted in thecurrent Monsanto crop destruct and replant programs which have significantlyenhanced the value of Monsanto technology to growers and provides a valuableframework through which Monsanto shares production risks with growers.

      ThePCG group noted that there is little doubt that technology has the potential toincrease the profitability of High Plains cotton production, but only when croppotential becomes actual production.

      Theoverall goal, as expressed by the PCG representatives, should be to find aninnovative solution to the challenge of developing a viable combination ofprice and added value that will allow beneficial technology to become aneconomically viable part of high risk production systems on the High Plains.


TBWEF Mails 2003 BW Program Assessments

LUBBOCK,August 22, 2003              By Roger Haldenby

      We'd like to remindgrowers across the five High Plains boll weevil eradication zones that theTexas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation mailed out assessment notices for the2003 crop on August 21.

      The full amount of theassessment comes due on September 25, 2003 but producers who pay in full bySeptember 10 will receive a 2% discount.

      Any questions aboutyour assessment notice should be directed to TBWEF Assessments Department inAbilene at (866) 672-2800.


NWS Offers Useful Weather /Climate Products

LUBBOCK,August 22, 2003                    ByShawn Wade

      When it comes toweather forecasts and climate data the best solution to finding out what thefuture holds is generally to go straight to the source.

      Everyone is familiarwith the typical 5-7 day weather forecasts available through local and nationalmedia outlets.

      What few people realizeis that the National Weather Service (NWS) data used to create thosepredictions of temperature and precipitation can actually provide a much moredetailed glimpse of what the future holds.

      Currently, the NWSmaintains and creates a variety of climate/weather prediction products thatshould be extremely useful for farmers, especially when they need to know whatthe future holds over the course of the coming 1, 3 or 7 days.

      The trick forproducers, and the general public, is knowing what to look for and where tofind it.

      NWS personnel gather,process and distribute valuable data that most of the weather watching publicis unaware of and didnŐt know was actually available on the internet. TheLubbock area NWS office website can be accessed at: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lub/

      Often known by arcanenames, like Point Forecast Matrices (PFM), some of the currently available NWSdata have exciting potential for agricultural producers. One of the mostinteresting is the PFM mentioned above.

      The PFM is a 3-7 dayforecast broken down to specific periods of time that includes temperature,wind speed and direction, humidity and precipitation. The forecast includesspecific predictions in three-hour intervals for upcoming 72 hour and thensix-hour forecasts for days 4 through 7.

      It isnŐt hard toimagine the usefulness of a three-day weather forecast, broken down tothree-hour time slices, that include temperature, humidity, wind speed, to acotton grower trying to maximize harvest activities and schedules.

      Lubbock area residentsinterested in seeing what the PFM says will happen over the next 3-7 days cango the Lubbock NWS website and look for themselves at: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lub/PFM.htm

      While there, be sure tolook at the other climate and weather data products they have available. Thereare literally dozens of interesting and potentially useful tools waiting to beput to good use.