PCG Holds 47thAnnual Meeting; Board Elects
2004/2005 Officers and Executive Committee

Friday, April 2, 2004                                   By Shawn Wade

      An outstandingprogram greeted attendees of the 47th Annual Meeting of PlainsCotton Growers, Inc. and gave cotton growers and industry leaders a chance tohear from three outstanding speakers as the organization celebrated its 48thyear of service to cotton growers on the Texas High Plains.

      During themeeting PCG speakers Senator Robert Duncan, of Lubbock; Mark Messura, CottonIncorporated Vice President-Strategic Planning of Cary, NC; and Dr. Gary Adams,Vice President-Economics and Policy Analysis at the National Cotton Councilprovided in depth discussions of important issues affecting Texas agricultureand the cotton industry.

      Joining the threefeature speakers on the program were current National Cotton Council ChairmanWoody Anderson of Colorado City, Texas, Plains Cotton Improvement CommitteeChairman Dale Swinburn and PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett.

      In the keynoteaddress Senator Duncan talked about a broad range of issues that threaten Texasagriculture interests. Among the topics he highlighted were water and theongoing issue of school finance reform.

      Messura’spresentation included a detailed look at the competitive nature of the textilemarketplace and highlighted advances synthetic fiber manufacturers have made todevelop and market competitive “cotton-like” fibers. He stressed the need forU.S. cotton producers to continue to be pro-active in efforts to protectcurrent markets and increase efforts that build demand and win new marketsoverseas.

      Adams brought thePCG membership up to date on the status of the Brazil WTO challenge of the U.S.cotton program. He explained that the crux of Brazil’s case is that the U.S.cotton program violates the “peace clause” of the current WTO agreement.

      In theirchallenge Brazil claims U.S. cotton programs have allowed the U.S. to unfairlygain market share and have depressed world prices to the detriment of Braziliancotton growers. Adams noted that win, lose or draw the Brazil decision willprofoundly affect the current WTO negotiation process.

      Adams rounded outhis presentation with a short update on current 2004 crop projections for boththe U.S. and the world.

      Following theannual meeting, members of the PCG Board came together for their AprilDirectors meeting to select a new slate of officers to guide the organizationduring the 2004-2005 growing season.

      The PCG Boardelected Rickey Bearden, of Plains, Texas as the organization’s 24th President.Bearden replaces Mark Williams of Farwell who becomes Chairman of the Board.

      Also elected toofficer positions within the organization were: Mike Hughes of Lamesa as VicePresident and Barry Evans of Kress, Texas as Secretary-Treasurer.

      PCG Bylaws limitterms of service for each officer position to two consecutive terms. Each ofthe newly elected officers will be eligible for re-election to their currentposition in April 2005.

      The PCG Board ofDirectors also elected representatives to serve on the 2004-2005 PCG ExecutiveCommittee. Each year the PCG Board elects a total of nine directors, three fromeach of the organization’s three sub-regions, to serve alongside theorganization’s three elected officers and two most recent past presidents.

      Members of the2004-2005 PCG Executive Committee are: District 1 representatives Johnie Reedof Kress, James Brown of Muleshoe and Dan B. Smith of Lockney; District 2representatives Craig Heinrich and Eugene Bednarz of Slaton and Scott Harmon ofIdalou; District 3 representatives Wesley Butchee of Seagraves, James Mitchellof Lenorah and Shawn Holladay of Lamesa; President Rickey Bearden of Plains,Vice President Mike Hughes of Lamesa, Secretary-Treasurer Barry Evans of Kress,Chairman Mark Williams of Farwell, and past president Ronnie Hopper ofPetersburg.

      During themeeting the PCG Board recognized the efforts of outgoing Chairman of the BoardRonnie Hopper during his two terms as President of the organization (2000-02)and Chairman of the Board (2002-04). Hopper was presented with an awardcommemorating his service to the organization.

 

2003Upland Cotton Weighted Average Farm Price
Through February 2004

      The 2003Counter-cyclical payment rate authorized under the 2002 Farm Bill will be basedon the 12-month Weighted Average Price Received by growers. For cotton the12-month Weighted Average Price will reflect price and bales marketed for the2003 marketing year. The 2003 cotton marketing year began in August 1, 2003 andends July 31, 2004.

      The followingtable shows the average price received each month by farmers and the associatedweighted average price based on cumulative bales marketed through February2004.

Average PriceReceived Through February 2004
For 2003-crop Upland Cotton

(Weighted by balesmarketed)

 

Bales Marketed

Prices

 

(000's of Running bales)

(cents/Lb.)

 

Monthly

Cum.

Monthly

Weighted

August

420

420

46.30

46.30

September

769

1,189

55.70

52.38

October

1,783

2,972

68.00

61.75

November

1,912

4,884

63.40

62.40

December

1,938

6,822

64.10

62.88

January

1,546

8,368

62.50

62.81

February

1,422

9,790

62.70

62.79

March

na

na

61.80*

na

Source: NationalAgricultural Statistics Service; * = preliminary