PCG Discusses InsuranceIssues

LUBBOCK, September 12, 2003    By Shawn Wade

      Following the direction of thePlains Cotton Growers Board of Directors, PCG Officers Mark Williams, RickeyBearden and Mike Hughes joined PCG staff at a pair of meetings to discussinsurance issues September 8.

      Both meetings involvedrepresentatives from Watts & Associates, an insurance consulting firm basedin Bozeman, Montana.

      Topics discussed included a studythat Watts & Associates has been commissioned to perform on behalf of theUSDA Risk Management Agency, and to seek ways PCG could assist in thedevelopment of a Business Income insurance product for cotton gins.

      PCG and Texas Cotton Ginners’Association leaders discussed the concept of a Business Income insurance productwith Watts & Associates representatives in order to see what steps might betaken to further development of such a product.

      “As an organization Plains CottonGrowers is committed to the success of the High Plains cotton industry. Onearea our membership has identified as being key to that success is maintainingthe viability of the support structure that allows our cotton to get from thefield to the marketplace,” explains PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett.

      In regard to PCG’s increased involvementin the TCGA’s efforts to develop a viable insurance program, Verett notes thatPCG’s primary motivation is to provide whatever assistance it can and add tothe hard work and investment already made by the TCGA.

      During the meeting PCG leadersagreed to support the development of a 3-county product assessment that will beused to measure the viability of a gin insurance plan.

      The second meeting involving PCGand Watts & Associates centered on a study, commissioned by the USDA RiskManagement Agency, to look into the current implementation of skip-row factorsin non-irrigated cotton.

      PCG representatives note that it isimportant for producers to be active since these types of studies and therecommendations that come from them impact the number of companies willing towrite crop insurance products for this growing region.

      Maintaining the availability ofaffordable insurance products and making sure that those products are providingthe coverage producers need is a critical component of PCG’s involvement inthis and many other insurance issues.


Strong Storms Rough Up High Plains Crop

LUBBOCK, September 12, 2003    By Shawn Wade

      With estimates of affected acreagenear the 100,000 acre mark, many High Plains producers are busy assessingdamage and weighing options following a pair of late-season hail stormsthahaldenbyt sliced their way through the southern High Plains earlier in theweek.

      While definitive tallies of thelosses are hard to come by, anecdotal evidence suggests that the storms dealtsignificant damage and left a lasting impression on those who witnessed thedevastation first-hand.

      Descriptions of the damage appeareerily similar even though the fields being described are often many milesapart.

      Several producers have reportedhaving fields left with nothing more than empty and broken cotton stalks thatlook as if they had been mechanically shredded, where a week ago a croppromising one and even two or more bales of production had stood.

      On the other side of the coin, someproducers are still wondering if the partial damage they received will be toomuch for the crop to recover from and if what remains is enough to justify theadded cost of harvest operations.

      One thing that is certain is thatthe heart of the damaged area contained some very promising cotton acreage.

      On a broader scale, the High Plainscrop was downgraded slightly in the last TASS crop report to an expectedproduction level of 2.15 million bales. This is down from the 2.4 million balesprojected at the beginning of August.

      The drop reflects the severity ofthe drought conditions that impacted dryland production regions during theJuly/August growing period.

      Planted acreage for the 1-N and 1-Sreporting districts was increased to 3.55 million acres while harvested acreageand yields were also adjusted to derive the 2.15 million bale productionestimate.


Tours & Meetings Highlight Busy Week

LUBBOCK, September 12, 2003    By Shawn Wade

      County crop tours, CI’s 2003 CottonBreeder’s Tour and the 51st West Texas Ag Chemicals Institute Annual Meetingtop the agenda for a busy week on the Texas High Plains.

      Cotton Breeders from across thenation will converge on Lubbock this coming week for the Texas swing of the2003 Cotton Incorporated Cotton Breeders Tour. Participants will tour HighPlains breeding programs as well as research facilities in the area beginningSunday, September 14.

      The West Texas AgriculturalChemicals Institute will have their 51st annual conference on Tuesday, Sept.16, at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, 1501

Sixth Street.

      Registration begins at 7 a.m.Coffee and donuts will be served. Registration fee is $70. The program beginsat 8 a.m.

      Various speakers will givepresentations throughout the day. Commodity updates and a Texas StateLegislative Update by Sen. Robert Duncan are on the agenda for the morning andearly afternoon sessions. Lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m.

      Concurrent session topics includecrop protection, cropping systems management and irrigation management. Thosesessions begin at 3:15 p.m. Students will present posters from researchprojects from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. and will be available for questions andcomments.

      The conference will adjourn at 5p.m. Five Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units areavailable. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is making three CEU'savailable, and five and a half CEU's are available for Texas Certified CropAdvisors.


Ag Market Network Conference Call

Plains Cotton Growers has signed as a local sponsor for the AgMarket Network’s monthly conference call. The Ag Market Network is sponsored inpart by the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, Mississippi State UniversityCooperative Extension Service and the Rosenthal Collins Group, LLC.

      The network was formed to givetimely marketing information and aid in the marketing education of agriculturalproducers.

      Several Marketing clubs across the TexasHigh Plains also serve as sponsors and provide locations where producers canparticipate in the monthly calls.

      Producers in and around the Lubbockvicinity who do not already have a regular sponsor location from which tolisten to the call are invited to do so at the PCG office located at 4517 WestLoop 289.

Here are the details for the September 16 call.


DATE:             SEPTEMBER16, 2003


TIME:              7:30A.M. CENTRAL TIME


SPEAKERS:                       SUBJECTS:


Sharon Johnson                       COTTON

Frank Schneider & Company

Alan Brugler                      GRAIN& OILSEED

Brugler Marketing & Management


HighPlains Calendar of Events

September 2003

Date            Event/Location*

Sept. 16       FloydCounty Crop Tour

Sept. 16             WestTexas Agricultural

                  ChemicalsInstitute Annual Meeting,

                  LubbockMemorial Civic Center

Sept. 17       LynnCounty Crop Tour

Sept. 18       TerryCounty Crop Tour

Sept. 24       All-Tex Seed FieldDay, Tours Begin at 10:00 a.m.,

                  All-TexSeed Headquarters, Levelland

                  CrosbyCounty Crop Tour

Sept. 25       FiberMaxField Day

Sept. 30             MitchellCounty Crop Tour

*Additional details and location information will be included asthey become available or you can call your County Extension office.