Disaster CalculatorAvailable On PCG Website

LUBBOCK, October 29,2004                  By Shawn Wade

      Passage of the 2003/2004Agricultural Disaster Program has many producers, landlords and Ag lenderslooking for a tool to help them calculate their Crop Disaster Program payments.

      Last week, Plains CottonGrowers dusted off its Single Farm Disaster Payment Calculator, and with theassistance of Jay Yates, Extension Specialist - Risk Management, updated it toestimate 2003 or 2004 disaster benefits.

      Yates has also updated hiscomprehensive Multiple Farm Disaster Payment Calculator that allows producersto input information on multiple farms and estimate how much assistance may beavailable for their entire operation.

      The calculators have beendeveloped specifically for use by cotton producers on the Texas High Plains.

      Producers who downloaded theSingle Farm calculator last week should go back and get the latest versionposted October 27 which corrects an error in the formula that selects thehigher of the producer’s APH yield or the County Average.

      At this time there isessentially no concrete information about how the 2003/2004 AgriculturalDisaster Program will function. The legislation authorizing it refers tocomponents used in both the 2000 and the 2001/2002 Crop Disaster Programs.

      Boiled down to simplelanguage the new law instructs the Farm Service Agency to conduct the programin basically the same manner as the 2001/2002 CDP except using a higher paymentrate structure from the 2000 CDP.

      Producers are advised to usethe calculators as estimation toolS onlyand check the PCG website regularly for updated versions. Updates will beposted once a better knowledge of the rules is available.

 

29th CRP Sign-up Enrolls1.18 Million Acres; Posts 76 Percent Acceptance Rate

LUBBOCK, October 29,2004                  By Shawn Wade

      Even though Texas laggedbehind the 76 percent national acceptance rate of the 29thConservation Reserve Program sign-up, the State’s results were nonethelessgratifying as producers crafted a reasonably high number of bids that met theminimum enrollment score.

      Nationwide 1.18 million acreswere accepted into the program from approximately 1.6 million acres offered.

      Texas figures indicate thatsome 112,687 acres were accepted from 198,250 acres that were offered. Thatcalculates to a 56 percent acceptance rate.

      Sammy Orange, Texas FarmService Agency Conservation Division Chief, notes that the primary reason theacceptance rate was so high was the willingness of landowners to invest inhigher scoring cover enhancements and wildlife watering facilities.

      According to FSA’sannouncement, the minimum Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) score necessary togain acceptance during the 29th Sign-up was 248 points. Nationwidethe average EBI score on acreage offered was 287 points.

      FSA officials are alsoreminding producers that there is still an opportunity to submit new CRP bidsfor acreage through Bobwhite Quail Initiative.

      Known as the CP 33-HabitatBuffers for Upland Birds program, the Bobwhite Quail Initiative is designedprimarily to increase habitat for Bobwhite Quail and other upland game birds.

      Up to 20,000 acres in Texaswill be able to be enrolled through this initiative. A continuous sign-upperiod for this program began October 1, 2004 and will remain open until theacreage cap is reached.

      In addition to the BobwhiteQuail program, FSA is also accepting bids for the CP 23A Wetland Restorationprogram for non-flood plain areas such as Playa Lakes. This program is alsoconducting a continuous sign-up process open until Texas’ 25,000-acreallocation is reached.

      The following table shows thenumber of acceptable offers and how much acreage was enrolled in High Plainscounties that participated in the 29th CRP Sign-up.

 

High Plains 29th CRP Sign-up Results

County

 

# Acceptable Offers

# Acceptable Acres

Borden

5

1,890.0

Carson

1

142.1

Castro

43

8,279.0

Crosby

47

3,995.5

Dawson

46

6,538.8

Garza

4

942.6

Hale

185

15,597.0

Hansford

1

186.8

Hartley

22

29,18.2

Hemphill

2

145.9

Howard

30

5,133.6

Lipscomb

4

1,082.7

Lubbock

67

8,875.7

Lynn

8

1,219.4

Martin

11

2,296.6

Midland

12

1,241.5

Moore

5

345.7

Motley

1

140.7

Ochiltree

9

1,898.3

Parmer

31

6814.1

Sherman

23

4,497.6

Terry

22

2,742.2

STATE TOTAL

830.0

112,687

Source:Farm Service Agency

Continued on Page 2


 

NHP Zone ContinuationReferendum Passes

LUBBOCK, October 29,2004             ByRoger Haldenby

      Ballots cast in the NorthernHigh Plains Boll Weevil Zone Continuation Referendum were canvassed andcertified in Austin October 28 by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

      The YES vote to continue theboll weevil eradication program in the NHP zone was an overwhelming 80.57%.

      Weldon Melton, cotton farmerfrom Plainview, already serving on the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundationboard of directors, was re-elected to continue service on the boardrepresenting growers of the NHP zone.

      The following are theofficial results from the Northern High Plains Retention Referendum:

 

Northern High Plains Zone

Continuation Referendum Results

 

Total VotesCast                                              1797

Number of Valid Ballots                                         1729

Number of InvalidBallots                                  68

Number of Votes FOR Proposition #1                  1393

Number of Votes AGAINST Proposition#1                 336

% Voting FOR Proposition #1                           80.57%

 

Number of Votes FOR Weldon Melton                 1275

Write-in Candidate                                         78

Source: Texas Department ofAgriculture

 

 


 

FSA Grants Relief To Texas Producers Caught InSignature Authority Predicament

LUBBOCK, October 29,2004 By Shawn Wade

With the help of PlainsCotton Growers and Farm Service Agency personnel in Texas and Washington, DC agroup of producers on the Texas High Plains can breathe a big sigh of relieffollowing the Agency’s decision to allow them to submit necessary documentationto clarify their authority to sign on behalf of their operations.

The decision allows theproducers involved to submit the necessary clarifying documentation after thefact without the possibility of adverse impacts to program benefits.

Farm program paymentsthat were temporarily held up as a result of this situation are now cleared forprocessing and affected producers should begin receiving them by November 1.

“We have communicated toevery County office involved in this situation the information they need toimmediately begin processing and delivering producer payments that have beentemporarily delayed during the review process,” says Juan Garcia, Texas FarmService Agency Agriculture Program Manager. “Our goal is to get these paymentsin producers hands without delay so that they can concentrate their efforts onharvest activities.”

FSA’s review of thecases in question revealed, in all instances, that payments were made to theproper individuals, but that for a variety of reasons some of the paperworknecessary to verify the producer’s authority to act on behalf of theiroperation was incomplete or unclear.

“The granting of reliefto the producers involved in this unfortunate situation is a testament to theability of organizations like PCG and USDA to work together to react to andsolve problems that adversely impact program participants,” notes PCG ExecutiveVice President Steve Verett.