Winter Weather Delivers Killing Freeze and
Snow To Portions of Texas High Plains

LUBBOCK, November 5, 2004       By Shawn Wade

      Dependingon your location Election Day 2004 may eventually go down as one to remember,or forget, as a defining moment for the 2004 growing season.

      Whatis known for sure is that it is the latest installment in what has been anemotional, up and down growing season. With a good deal of the area tryingdesperately to gain some harvest momentum, the delays caused this week will addto the pressure growers feel to get the crop out.

      Heavy,wet snow fell across much of the northern and central counties of West TexasNovember 1 and 2. Rainfall was also prevalent in southern and eastern areas aswell.

      Localsnowfall totals ranged from a high of 10-12 inches in some parts of Castro andHale Counties, to 5-8 inches in Lubbock and Lynn Counties.

      Thebig concern is that the type of snow that fell could have an even greater,adverse, effect on yield and quality than the wet ground left in the aftermathof the storms. Only time will tell as producers return to the field to assessthe situation.

      Thepotential for lint stringing out of the bolls looms as the most obvious problemfor many producers. Another complicating factor, especially in areas thatrecorded high snowfall amounts, is the sheer weight of the snow on plantbranches and stems. Broken fruiting branches could increase the potential forBark contamination during harvest and ginning operations down the line.

 

With Elections Finally Over: Results Bring
Important Changes In AgRepresentation

LUBBOCK, November 5, 2004       By Shawn Wade

      Nomatter how the November 2 District 19 Election turned out, West Texasagriculture was going to come out on the short end of the stick by virtue ofthe inevitable.

      Nowthat the process is finally over, the challenge of representing the area’sdiverse agriculture interests rests firmly on the shoulders of RepresentativeRandy Neugebauer as he works to fill the shoes of not one, but two capableagriculture leaders.

      Farmersand agriculture industry leaders will depend on him to represent West Texasagriculture in the same unwavering fashion as his opponent, outgoingRepresentative Charlie Stenholm, and his predecessor, former House Ag CommitteeChairman Larry Combest.

      Keysto success for Rep. Neugebauer will be maintaining his already strong effortson behalf of agriculture and stepping into the agriculture leadership andeducational roles that West Texas Congressman have traditionally provided inCongress.

      Amongthe challenges facing agriculture over the next few years are completion of anew WTO Agriculture Agreement, reauthorizing the 2002 Farm Bill, and thecritical role of defending commodity and conservation programs from budgetraiders during the 2005-2006 budget cycle. All these and more will be toppriorities for Rep. Neugebauer in 2005.

      “Welook forward to strengthening our relationship with Rep. Neugebauer and helpinghim defend the interests of High Plains agriculture,” says PCG Executive VicePresident Steve Verett. “We have grown to respect and trust Randy in hisfreshman term.”

      Duringhis first 18 months in office, Neugebauer has delivered important cropinsurance legislation, helped secure a 2003/2004 crop disaster program, andnumerous bills of benefit to Texas Tech University and the constituents of the19th District.

 

Stenholm Earned Cotton Industry’sPraise and Respect

      “Asan industry, we also extend our deepest thanks to Charlie Stenholm for 26 yearsof outstanding service and for his willingness to be agriculture’s unwaveringdefender,” adds Verett. “His ability to work in a bi-partisan manner and togarner the support of non-agriculture members of Congress will be sorely missedas we face the challenges of tomorrow.”

      Stenholm’sservice to the cotton industry began as a producer and grew to include a stintas Executive Vice President of the Rolling Plains Cotton Growers Association.In 1978 he was elected Congressman for the 17th District of Texasand served several years as the Ranking Member of the House Committee onAgriculture.

      Stenholmworked side-by-side with industry and Congressional colleagues to support U.S.agriculture and played a key role in the development and passage of the 2002Farm Bill.

      Thathis absence from the Ag policy debate is permanent is not, however, a foregoneconclusion. Speculation of him being a possible replacement for currentSecretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman, should she decide to move on, has alreadysurfaced following the re-election of President George W. Bush.

      Whetherit is the end of an era or the start of a new chapter, West Texas cottonfarmers offer a heartfelt “Thank You” and “Good Luck” to Charlie Stenholm.

 

FSA Grants Relief To Texas Producers
Caught In Signature AuthorityPredicament

LUBBOCK, November 5, 2004       By Shawn Wade

      Withthe help of Plains Cotton Growers and Farm Service Agency personnel in Texasand Washington, DC a group of producers on the Texas High Plains can breathe abig sigh of relief following the Agency’s decision to allow them to clarifytheir authority to act on behalf of their operations.

 

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      Thedecision allows the producers involved to submit the necessary documentationafter the fact without the possibility of adverse impacts to program benefits.

      Farmprogram payments that were temporarily held up as a result of this situationwere also cleared for processing and affected producers began receiving them byNovember 1.

      “Wehave communicated to every County office involved in this situation theinformation they need to immediately begin processing and delivering producerpayments that have been temporarily delayed during the review process,” saysJuan Garcia, Texas Farm Service Agency Agriculture Program Manager. “Our goal wasto get these payments in producers hands without delay so that they canconcentrate their efforts on harvest activities.”

      FSA’sreview of the cases in question revealed, in all instances, that payments weremade to the proper individuals, but that for a variety of reasons some of thepaperwork necessary to verify the producer’s authority to act on behalf oftheir operation was incomplete or unclear.

 

      “Thegranting of relief to the producers involved in this unfortunate situation is atestament to the ability of organizations like PCG and USDA to work together tosolve problems that adversely impact program participants,” notes PCG ExecutiveVice President Steve Verett.

 

2005 EQIP PDG Sessions Scheduled

LUBBOCK, November 5, 2004       By Shawn Wade

      Farmersand ranchers have their opportunity to direct the flow of Environmental QualityIncentive Program funds through participation in a series of meetings beginningNovember 8 and running through December 14.

      Knownas Program Development Group (PDG) meetings, they offer farmers and ranchers anopportunity to offer their ideas and feedback on the EQIP program and how fundsare prioritized.

      This will be the 2nd year forthe PDG meetings to be held. Last year producer participation helped targetEQIP funds on high value investments such as cost-sharing the installation ofhigh efficiency drip irrigation and LEPA center pivots.

      Times and locations of thePDG meetings are listed below.

 


EQIP Program Development Group (PDG) MeetingDates, Times and Locations

County:

Date:

Time:

Location:

County:

Date:

Time:

Location:

Wheeler

11/4/04

8:30AM

Wheeler Banking Center

Scurry/Borden

11/18/04

1:00PM

Snyder Country Club

Dawson

11/8/04

9:00AM

First Presbyterian Church, Lamesa

Foard

11/18/04

6:00PM

Crowell State Bank

Hemphill

11/9/04

5:30PM

County Exhibition Bldg.

Gray

11/18/04

7:00PM

Gray Co. Annex Bldg. Pampa

Kent

11/9/04

5:30PM

Kent County Court House

Parmer

11/18/04

9:00AM

EMS Building, Bovina

Crosby

11/9/04

7:00PM

Pioneer Memorial Museum

Bailey

12/7/04

8:00AM

Five Area Telephone Board Rm.

Cochran

11/9/04

8:00AM

Morton Service Center

Hockley

12/7/04

8:00AM

Bank One Meeting Rm.

Fisher

11/10/04

1:00PM

Roby Community Center

Lamb

12/8/04

10:00AM

Lamb County Electric Co-op Inc

Dallam

11/10/04

2:00PM

Dalhart NRCS Office

Garza

12/8/04

8:00AM

Post Community Center

Dickens

11/10/04

7:00PM

Spur USDA Service Center

Cottle

12/9/04

1:00PM

Paducah NRCS office

Sherman

11/10/04

8:30AM

Farm Bureau Bldg.

Hansford

12/9/04

1:00PM

First State Bank, Spearman

Stonewall

11/10/04

9:00AM

Stonewall County Courthouse

Donley

12/9/04

2:00PM

Courson RFO, Clarendon College

Lipscomb

11/10/04

9:30AM

Follett Community Center

Carson

12/9/04

8:00AM

Panhandle NRCS office

Hale

11/12/04

10:00AM

Plainview NRCS Office

Potter

12/9/04

9:00AM

NRCS Service Center, Amarillo

Lubbock

11/12/04

8:00AM

USDA-ARS Center,3810 4th St.

Briscoe

12/10/04

10:00AM

City Bank

Armstrong

11/16/04

1:00PM

Claude NRCS office

Hutchinson

12/10/04

10:00AM

Holt Community Bldg., Holt

Hardeman

11/16/04

8:00AM

Quanah Community Center

Ochiltree

12/10/04

9:00AM

Museum of the Plains

Gaines

11/16/04

8:30AM

Charlie's Restaurant, Seminole

Collingsworth

12/13/04

7:00PM

Salt Fork SWCD Bldg.

Deaf Smith

11/16/04

9:00AM

Hereford Community Center

Terry

12/13/04

8:00AM

Brownfield NRCS office

Moore

11/16/04

9:00AM

Amarillo College, Moore County

Lynn

12/14/04

8:00AM

Life Enrichment Center

Motley

11/16/04

9:00AM

Matador NRCS Office

Yoakum

12/14/04

8:00AM

Plains Community Center

Roberts

11/16/04

9:00AM

KNT Café, Hwy 60, Miami

Childress

12/14/04

9:00AM

USDA Bldg. Annex, Childress

Hartley

11/17/04

1:30PM

Hartley NRCS office

Floyd

12/14/04

9:00AM

Floydada NRCS Office

King

11/17/04

1:30PM

Guthrie Community Center

Randall

12/14/04

9:00AM

Farm Bureau Office, Canyon

Oldham

11/17/04

10:00AM

Friona State Bank, Vega Branch

Swisher

12/15/04

1:00PM

County Annex Building

Castro

11/17/04

9:00AM

Rhoads Memorial Library

Hall

12/15/04

9:00AM

Bronze Room, Memphis

 

New Multi-Farm, Multi-Crop 2003/2004 Disaster Payment

Calculator Now Available on PCG Website

Texas Cooperative Extension Risk Management Specialist JayYates has developed a new Multi-Farm, Multi-Crop Disaster Calculator to helpproducers who suffered losses on multiple crops estimate the amount of disasterbenefit they might qualify for under the 2003/2004 Disaster Program. The newcalculator includes yield and price information for Cotton. Corn, GrainSorghum, Wheat and Peanuts. The calculator includes information for the same 44county area covered by the Single Farm and Multi Farm Disaster PaymentCalculators developed for cotton. Check it out at: http://www.plainscotton.org/2004DisHelp.html