Rep. Randy NeugebauerUpdates PCG Board At January Meeting

Friday, January 16,2004                    By Shawn Wade

      A report on Washingtonlegislative activities from 19th District Representative RandyNeugebauer highlighted Plains Cotton Growers January 14 Board of Directorsmeeting.

      NeugebauerÕs report broughtthe PCG Board up to date on a number of key legislative topics that are at thetop of WashingtonÕs ŅTo-DoÓ list when Congress reconvenes this month. Among theunfinished items he noted as top priorities were the FY 2004 OmnibusAppropriations bill and the Energy bill.

      Neugebauer highlighted histop agriculture priorities for the coming year including his desire to developa permanent disaster assistance program that could eliminate the need for adhoc Disaster Assistance bills in the future.

      Neugebauer also reaffirmedhis commitment to stay involved in the area of trade and continue to advocatethe interests of cotton and other agriculture segments.

      He said the key to makingsure that future trade agreements donÕt arbitrarily sacrifice U.S. agriculture,and the programs that support it, is for Congress and industry to remainactively involved with the U.S. Trade Representatives office.

      In other business the PCGBoard voted to support initiation of a pilot program designed to utilizecurrent Farm Service Agency resources to combat fraud and abuse within thefederal crop insurance program.

      The pilot program wouldrequire producers with crop insurance claims to obtain from the county FSAoffice a signed form documenting that the crop, prior to the loss, was farmedin a workmanlike manner before a final indemnity could be paid.

      The Agricultural RiskProtection Act of 2000 called for a closer working relationship between the FSAand the Risk Management Agency in many areas including data collection andavailability and program compliance.

      Jim Conkwright, Manager ofthe High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1, updated the PCGBoard on statewide water issues that threaten to impact agriculture. He alsoannounced that HPUWCD personnel were in the process of doing district wide soilmoisture and depth to water surveys.

      Conkwright highlightedseveral areas of concern and discussed a number of water related issuesincluding rule of capture, water use and conservation, marketing and the roleregional water districts would fulfill in the future.

      PCG Board members also heardreports from the Cotton Board and the National Cotton Council and discussedState wide legislative issues that are expected to occupy PCGÕs attention in2004.

      PCG Executive Vice PresidentSteve Verett said that over the next year PCG would be heavily involved inseveral issues at the State level. He noted water, education funding and taxreform as the top issues that will be discussed in Austin and around the statein 2004 leading up to the next regular Texas Legislative Session in 2005.


2003-crop Average PriceReceived by Growers Through November 2003

      The followingtable shows the average price received each month by farmers and the associatedweighted average price based on cumulative marketings through each month.

      The 12-monthWeighted Average Price Received by growers will be used to calculate the finalCounter-cyclical program payment rate.

      For cotton the12-month Weighted Average Price will reflect price and marketings for the 2003marketing year. The 2003 cotton marketing year began in August 2003 and ends inJuly 2004.


Average Price Received For2003-crop Upland Cotton (Weighted by Marketing)





(000's of Running bales)
































Source: NationalAgricultural Statistics Service; * = preliminary

HighPlains Production Conferences Offer CEU Opportunities for Producers

2004 Conference Dates and Locations:

Jan. 20 - West PlainsAg Conference, WomenÕs Building, 1921 Black Gold Road, Levelland.

Jan. 21 - TerryCounty Ag Conference & Trade Show, Nikki Vinson Youth Center, 110 East HillSt., Brownfield.

Jan. 27 - LlanoEstacado Cotton Conference, Bailey County Coliseum, Muleshoe.

Jan. 28 - CaprockCotton Conference, Plains Baptist Assembly south of Floydada.

Jan. 29 - SouthernMesa Ag Conference, Dawson County Annex Building, 609 North First, Lamesa.

Feb. 10 - The Hale& Swisher County Cotton Conference, Ollie Liner Center, Plainview.

Feb. 12 - TheSandyland Ag Conference, Gaines County Civic Building, Seminole.

Feb. 19 Š SouthwestCrops Production and Expo, Memorial Civic Center, Lubbock. To pre-register call1-800-253-3160.