18 Watersheds Eligible for First CSP Sign-up

LUBBOCK, May 21, 2004                    By Shawn Wade

      Witha Summer 2004 sign-up in mind, the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Servicehas announced that 18 watersheds across the continental United States will bethe first areas where farmers and ranchers get a chance to participate in theConservation Security Program.

      The18 watersheds include two that are at least partially located in Texas. Thefirst is the Hondo watershed that overlays part of the Edwards Aquifer andincludes parts of the following Texas counties: Medina, Bandera and Frio.

      Thesecond is the Punta de Agua watershed which straddles the Texas-New Mexicoborder and includes all or part of the following counties in the northern TexasPanhandle: Dallam, Hartley and Oldham; and parts of Union county in New Mexico

      Thetwo watersheds cover over 1.7 million acres. The Punta de Agua covers 998,000acres and the Hondo watershed includes 704,000 acres according to the NRCS.

      Nationallymore than 14 million acres of land and an estimated 27,000 farms and rancheswill be eligible to apply for CSP participation.

      TheCSP is a voluntary program that supports ongoing conservation stewardship ofagricultural working lands and enhances the condition of America's naturalresources.

      Nationwidethe inaugural CSP sign-up will make some $41.4 million in CSP funding availableto reward farmers and ranchers for addressing specific resource concerns ontheir operations through the successful use of conservation practices. It isestimated that 3,000 to 5,000 contracts will be able to be written in theinitial sign-up period.

      NRCSis in the process of training personnel in the selected watersheds on thebasics of the program with detailed training scheduled after publication of theinterim final rule governing the sign-up process later in the summer.


June Agricultural Survey Is Opportunity To ProvideFacts About Texas Agriculture

LUBBOCK, May 21, 2004                    By Shawn Wade

      TheTexas Agricultural Statistics Service has targeted May 27-June 13 as thetimeframe for conducting the 2004 June Agricultural Survey.

      TheJune Survey is one of the more important survey programs conducted by TASS andis used to develop the first clear indications of potential acreage andproduction of major commodities for the 2004 growing season.

      Allfarmers and ranchers selected for the survey are encouraged to participate.

      TheNational Agricultural Statistics Service conducts a number of survey programsthroughout the year to establish projections for crop acreage, production andinput usage across the United States.

      Informationgathered during the survey is used by a wide variety of people in theagriculture industry, as well as within the federal government, and it isimperative that the information provided is as accurate as possible.

      Theinformation provided by farmers and ranchers is used by a wide variety ofpeople including industry analysts, extension agents, and farm organizations.The data is also often used in the development of agricultural policy.

      Bylaw the information gathered during the survey process is kept confidential andis combined with responses from other participants to develop the needed dataand provide meaningful, accurate and objective statistics that help keep U.S.agriculture informed.


NCC Program Trains Cotton Industry Leaders

LUBBOCK, May 21, 2004                    By Shawn Wade

      TheNational Cotton Council is still looking for applicants interested in beingpart of the 2004-05 Cotton Leadership Class.

      NCCwill accept applications from qualified U.S. industry members through July 1,2004 and anyone interested in applying can visit the Cotton LeadershipProgram's web site at http://leadership.cotton.org to review the program curriculum,eligibility requirements and download the application.

      TheNCC's Cotton Leadership Program seeks to identify potential industry leadersand provide them leadership training.

      Thecourse is comprised of five sessions conducted across the Cotton Belt.Participants will visit with industry leaders; observe production, processingand research activities; and, meet with lawmakers and government agencyrepresentatives during a visit to Washington, DC. Participants will alsoattend the NCC's annual meeting and its mid-year board of directors meeting.

      Theprogram, now in its 21st year, is supported by a grant to The Cotton Foundationfrom DuPont Crop Protection and is managed by NCC's Member Services department.The 10-member leadership class is comprised of four producers and oneparticipant from each of the other six industry segments.

      The2004-05 class is to be announced in August by the NCC's Cotton LeadershipDevelopment Committee. Committee Chairman Jimmy Sanford, an Alabama producer,says the U.S. cotton industry has benefited from dedicated leaders for decades,but the need to groom future leaders is imperative.

      "Soundleadership will be crucial for helping move U.S. cotton forward in a rapidlyevolving global marketplace," Sanford said. "The leadership programis an ideal training ground for those men and women who would like to embracethe challenge of guiding this outstanding industry."


Don't Forget:

2004 Direct & Counter-cyclical Program

Sign-up Ends June 1, 2004