PCG Officers Discuss Insurance Issues; TCP Contingent Make WashingtonRounds

LUBBOCK, July 16, 2004                           By Shawn Wade

      PCG President Rickey Beardenand Vice President Mike Hughes traveled to Washington, DC July 12-14 withcotton producers from across Texas to discuss cotton issues and reinforce theimportance of the current Farm Bill to USDA officials and members of Congress.

      Bearden and Hughes were inWashington as part of a Texas Cotton Producers group seeking to discuss currentcotton related issues and to reinforce the strong working relationship thecotton industry has with USDA personnel and Texas Congressionalrepresentatives.

      During the trip Bearden andHughes joined the TCP group to visit congressional staff and hear reports fromkey USDA agency representatives.

      The TCP group met withseveral members of the Texas Congressional delegation including:Representatives Max Sandlin (District 1), Chet Edwards (District 11), MacThornberry (District 13), Ron Paul (District 14), Charles Stenholm (District17), Randy Neugebauer (District 19), Henry Bonilla (District 23), Solomon Ortiz(District 27), and Senator John Cornyn. Representatives from the House andSenate Agriculture Committees also briefed the TCP group.

      Jim Butler, USDA Deputy UnderSecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services; David Hatch, AssociateAdministrator of the Risk Management Agency; Al Jennings, Director, Office ofPest Management Policy; Scott Sanford, Farm Service Agency Fibers AnalysisGroup; and, Carol Skelly, USDA World Outlook Board, provided USDA updates oncotton related programs and issues.

      The TCP group concluded theirtrip with a luncheon at the National Cotton Council's Washington officeattended by Special Assistant to the President Christopher Smith.

      In addition to their TCPschedule, PCG's officers also met with representatives of the Risk ManagementAgency to discuss the current deferred appraisal period for non-emerged seedand find a solution that meets the needs of the producer in the field and the FederalCrop Insurance Program.

      During the meeting severaloptions were discussed and progress made toward development of an equitablesolution. The ultimate goal is to develop a solution that can be initiated in2005 crop year.


PIE Tour Provides CA/AZ Producers Up Close View of High PlainsProduction Practices

LUBBOCK, July 16, 2004                           By Shawn Wade

      EightCalifornia, Arizona and New Mexico cotton producers arrived on the Texas HighPlains July 10 as part in the 2004 Producer Information Exchange Program'sSouthwest Tour.

      Bythe time they were through they made new friends, learned about productiontechniques unique to the High Plains and gathered new ideas to take back totheir own operations.

      Thegroup leaves the area with a better understanding of how their High Plainscounterparts go about the business of growing a crop they are familiar with butusing, in many cases, completely unfamiliar techniques.

      Participatingin the 2004 tour were: Daniel W. (Dan) Burns Dos Palos, CA; Andrew Clark, Tranquility,CA; Nathan Jurva, Carlsbad, NM; Vincent Marshall, Fresno, CA; Bob Prys,Riverdale, CA; Rodney Swan, Cibola, AZ; Ryan Torgiani, Bakersville, CA; and.Rene Verdusco, Casa Grande, AZ.

      Thegroup interacted with High Plains cotton producers and past PIE Tourparticipants and toured farms in the Lubbock area to observe irrigation andproduction practices common to the High Plains region.

      PCGExecutive Vice President Steve Verett officially welcomed the group to the areaduring a dinner and reception with the leadership of Plains Cotton Growers,Inc. July 10. During his presentation Verett went over the role that PCG andother regional producer organizations serve within the industry as well asbackground information about the region's cotton industry.

      Highlightsof the High Plains portion of the tour were visits to: United Cotton GrowersCooperative Gin in Hockley county; the American Cotton Growers denim mill atLittlefield, Texas; Plains Cotton Cooperative Association; Farmers CooperativeCompress; and PYCO Industries.

      FromLubbock the group traveled to Lamesa to tour the AG-Cares research facility andon to the Rolling Plains region where they met with current National CottonCouncil Chairman Woody Anderson and growers from the Abilene and San Angelo area.

      FMCCorporation and the National Cotton Council sponsor PIE program.


High Plains Ag Expo Set For August 24 26

LUBBOCK, July 16, 2004                           By Shawn Wade

      Farmers,ranchers and agriculture industry representatives should mark August 24-26 ontheir calendar and make plans to attend the 2004 High Plains Ag Expo in Dumas,Texas.

      Thethree-day event will provide an opportunity to view exhibits and demonstrationsinvolving the latest products and technologies available. Free educationopportunities will also be provided with CEU and CCA credits available togrowers from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico. Show hours are 10:00 am to8:00 pm August 24, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm August 25, and 10:00 am to 4:00 pmAugust 26.

      Commodityspecific programs help set a theme for each day and include a cotton growersworkshop (August 24), a Corn conference (August 25) and a Beef conference(August 26).

      Formore information on the internet go to www.highplainsagexpo.com or by calling 806-935-2002.