NCC Chairman LaysGroundwork for Industry's WTO Appeal; PCG Board Adopts 04-05 Budget

LUBBOCK, July 9,2004                            By Shawn Wade

     During its first scheduled meeting of the organization's 2004-2005 fiscal year,the Plains Cotton Growers Board of Directors received front row seats at theunveiling of the U.S. cotton industry's response to the report issued by thePanel that heard arguments in the Brazil/WTO cotton dispute.

     National Cotton Council Chairman Woody Anderson of Colorado City, Texas,provided the PCG Board an update on NCC activities and highlighted his remarksby laying what is expected to be the foundation of the U.S.'s appeal of theWorld Trade Organization Panel's decision on the case.

     Anderson was quick to reiterate that, even though the initial WTO ruling wentagainst the United States, the outcome of the case is still very much in doubt.The appeal process will take several months to complete and a final rulingdeveloped.

     Anderson's remarks pointed out that the WTO panel's findings were clearly basedon flawed arguments that ignored the reality of how the U.S. cotton programworks, its true impact on the world situation and how the rapid decline of theU.S. textile sector has shifted the way cotton is bought and sold around theworld.

      TheNCC response is clearly aimed at providing a reality check during the appealprocess for the WTO and those who have been conveniently critical of the U.S.cotton program and ignored more than a few pertinent facts.

      Asadditional details of the Brazil ruling are allowed into the light it appearsthat the ruling, and the analysis upon which it was based, could be cannonfodder for the United States Trade office and the cotton industry to shoot downat will.

      Inother business the PCG Board adopted a 2004-2005 operating budget of$638,454.90 to support the organization's ongoing legislative, regulatory andcotton research programs. PCG began its new fiscal year July 1.

      ThePCG Board received updates on several important issues and caught itself up onthe status of the High Plains crop. Highlighting reports to the PCG Board was arecap of the legal challenge filed by importers against the Cotton Research& Promotion Program from current Cotton Board Chairman Kent Nix of Lamesa.

      Nixnoted that the industry's defense of the program continues to move forward andoffered a word of thanks for the leadership and participation of both TexasCotton Producers and Plains Cotton Growers in the defense effort.

      TexasAgricultural Statistics Service Director Robin Roark discussed results of the2002 Census of Agriculture and explained how some of the statistical andinformational products published by the agency are developed. Joining Roark wasGreg Thessen, Field Crops Section Head with the National AgriculturalStatistics Service, and Troy Joshua, Lead Cotton Statistician, from Washington,DC.

     Thessen brought the PCG Board up to speed on the methodology used to developthe Average Prices Received by growers and the estimation of how much cotton ismarketed by month in the United States.

     Following considerable discussion on the information provided by Thessen, thePCG Board approved the development of a committee to work with NASSrepresentatives to evaluate the accuracy of current price and volume estimationprocedures and implement improvements wherever possible.

      AWeighted Average Price Received by growers is calculated from NASS data andused to determine the Counter-Cyclical component of the current farm program.

      Thefollowing table shows the average price received each month by farmers and theassociated Weighted Average Price based on cumulative bales marketed throughMay 2004.

 

Average PriceReceived Through May 2004

For 2003-crop UplandCotton

(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

167

9,957

59.40

62.74

April

473

10,430

61.20

62.67

May

360

10,790

60.60

62.60

June

---

---

60.60*

---

Source: NationalAgricultural Statistics Service; * = preliminary

 

TCP Schedules WashingtonRounds July 12-14

LUBBOCK, July 9,2004                            By Shawn Wade

     Cotton producers from across Texas will travel to Washington, DC, July 12-14 onbehalf of Texas Cotton Producers, Inc. The primary purpose of the trip is todiscuss key cotton issues and improve working relationships with key Washingtondecision-makers.

      Thegroup will work with staff from the National Cotton Council and have scheduledmeetings with United States Department of Agriculture personnel. They will alsomeet with members of the Texas delegation in the House of Representatives andwith staff at the House Agriculture Committee. The group has also scheduled ameeting with Texas Senator John Cornyn.

     Participating in the trip on behalf of Plains Cotton Growers are PCG PresidentRickey Bearden of Plains and Vice President Mike Hughes of Lamesa. Theremainder of the contingent will be producers and staff from the eight otherregional cotton organizations that make up TCP.