RMA Administrator Set To Address Texas Commodity Symposium –December 3

LUBBOCK, October 17, 2003        By Shawn Wade

      United States Department ofAgriculture Risk Management Agency Administrator Ross J. Davidson, Jr. hasagreed to speak at the 3rd Annual Texas Commodity Symposium on December 3,2003.

      The Symposium will be heldWednesday, December 3, 2003 in the Heritage Room at the Amarillo ConventionCenter in conjunction with the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show.

      Davidson, who assumed RMA’s headposition in February 2002, is expected to update symposium attendees on RMAactivities and discuss RMA’s vision for improving current products and thedevelopment of new products to meet agriculture’s evolving risk managementneeds.

      Sponsors for the Commodity Symposiumare the Corn Producers Association of Texas, Texas Grain Sorghum ProducersAssociation, Texas Wheat Producers Association, and Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.


Slow Start To Harvest Season Indicative

Of Late High Plains Crop

LUBBOCK, October 17, 2003        By Shawn Wade

      With weather patterns continuing tofluctuate from warm and mild to cool and wet every few days, High Plains cottonproducers appear to be taking more of a wait and see approach to the 2003harvest season.

      Part of that attitude is fueled byan overall reluctance to sink even more money into a late crop that is having atough time reaching the finish line.

      That being said, most observersthink activity will increase steadily through the end of the month and thatNovember should see the remainder of the area into full harvest mode.

      A key to changing producersentiments is that the cotton that sits in the field today is worthsignificantly more than it was just a few weeks ago.

      With the December 2003 New Yorkfutures contract above 70 cents, and opportunities to contract new crop cottonfor 70 cents, producers are no doubt rethinking whether the investment inharvest aid treatments will improve their chances of capturing the marketprices currently available.

      As it currently stands, themajority of the cotton defoliated resides in the areas south of Lubbock.Additional treatments are being made each and every day and ginning activityappears to be on the upswing.

      Activity at USDA Cotton Classingoffices is one of the better barometers of harvest progress early on. To date,neither the Lubbock nor Lamesa Classing offices have classed more than 20,000bales of the 2003 crop.

      Compared to last season, the delayin 2003 harvest activity is dramatic. To date the Lubbock office has classedjust under 13,000 bales of 2003 crop cotton. Through the same time period in2002 the Lubbock office had already eclipsed the 200,000-bale mark.

      Early quality measurements recordedat the Lubbock Classing office have also been good with a majority of the baleshaving 21 or better color readings and premium range readings in other HVIcategories.

      As more cotton is received aclearer picture of the crops overall quality will emerge.


Nuegebauer To Bring House Ag Committee Chair to Visit 19thDistrict

LUBBOCK, October 17, 2003        By Shawn Wade

      NineteenthCongressional District Representative Randy Neugebauer has announced that hewill be bringing current House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte ofVirginia to Lubbock to tour the district and to interact with agriculturerepresentatives and producers from the area.

      While the full schedule is not yet finalized, a producer forum is being planned for 6:30 p.m., Saturday, October 25, at the Merket Alumni Center on the campus of Texas Tech University.

      Themeeting will provide Chairman Goodlatte the chance to visit with all sectors ofagriculture, including area cotton, grain, peanuts and livestock producers.


House Ag Committee Schedules Lubbock Hearing – December 1

LUBBOCK, October 17, 2003        By Shawn Wade

      The House Agriculture General FarmCommodities and Risk Management Subcommittee will hold a field hearing inLubbock, Texas Monday, December 1.

      The purpose of the hearing will beto review crop insurance and commodity programs and is expected to also includetestimony from commodity groups.