Nebraska Governor Named toReplace


Ann Veneman as Secretary of Agriculture

LUBBOCK, December 3,2004             ByShawn Wade

     Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns is President George Bush’s choice to take overas U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

      Johanns,54, is a 2-time Republican Governor of Nebraska and brings a strong agriculturepedigree to the Bush Cabinet.

     Raised on a dairy farm in Iowa, Johanns also holds a law degree from CreightonUniversity in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a track record of streamlining andimproving government operations.

     Johanns has also been a long-time proponent of agriculture and ruraldevelopment. He brings a strong background on key Ag policy issues includingethanol and value-added agriculture.

      “Theselection of Governor Johanns by President Bush appears to reinforce theAdministration’s commitment to agriculture. We should have a leader at USDAthat understands producers and the many facets of agriculture that exist inthis country,” says PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett. “Johannsagriculture background appears to be broad, with practical knowledge rangingfrom a family dairy operation in Iowa to the larger-scale, irrigated anddryland agriculture that exists in Nebraska.”

     Verett said Plains Cotton Growers looks forward to getting better acquaintedwith the new Secretary and to working with him in the future.

 

FSA Seed Cotton LoanProgram Provides
Income Option for Producers in 2004

LUBBOCK, December 3,2004       By Shawn Wade

      Producersinterested in securing a Commodity Credit Corporation Seed Cotton Loan oncotton harvested, but not ginned before the end of the calendar year, need tobe aware of some changes that will make it a little easier to avoid unwelcometax problems due to delayed harvest.

      Thetax implications for a producer are two-fold. Producers unable to get their2004 crop harvested face the possibility of having what would normally be twoyears of income fall into a single year. When this happens it creates an overlylarge tax situation in the following crop year and creates current year taxproblems by not having the income expected for the current year in time toreport for the 2004 tax year.

      Onepossible remedy is the Seed Cotton Recourse Loan program offered by theCommodity Credit Corporation.

     Through the program producers with cotton harvested and stored in modules canapply for a recourse loan on the cotton and potentially generate a 2004cash-flow that can be reported for tax purposes.

      Inthe past, many producers who participate in marketing pool operations havechosen not to utilize this mechanism because of the complicated nature of theprocess and the additional hassle it causes for themselves and theirCooperative Marketing Association (CMA). Recent rule changes however, shouldmake the program more attractive to CMA members in 2004.

      Thechanges, announced November 19, make it easier for a producer who needs 2004income that can be generated by the Seed Cotton Loan to do so and stillparticipate in a marketing pool.

      Theyessentially provide marketing pool participants the same flexibility to useForm G loan proceeds to repay the seed cotton loan. Previously, only producerswho used the Form A loan were allowed to direct marketing loan proceeds torepay an outstanding seed cotton recourse loan.

      Forthat reason, seed cotton recourse loans have not been a great option forproducers whose cotton would be marketed through a pool that uses the Form Gloan program. Before the rule change, cotton marketed through a CMA, that waspledged as collateral for a seed cotton recourse loan, had to have the seedcotton loan repaid before the cotton was allowed to be put into the Form G loanprogram. This requirement greatly complicated the job of the marketing pool andthe producer.

      Thechanges announced by FSA now require a County FSA office to verify severalpieces of information when a producer seeks to obtain a seed cotton recourseloan.

     First, FSA offices will now be required to determine if the producer is a CMAmember by referring to the producers file.

     Secondly, the FSA office will provide the CMA with the applicable producernames and Farm Serial Numbers for all cotton pledged as collateral for a SeedCotton Loan.

      CMAsare technically required to monitor reports of seed cotton recourse loans madeto CMA members and contact the appropriate County FSA office to determine thestatus of the member’s seed cotton recourse loan.

      Ifthe seed cotton recourse loan has been repaid, the CMA is free to process thecotton without further involvement by FSA or the CCC.

      If itis determined that the seed cotton loan has not been repaid, and CCC has notreleased its security interest in the cotton, the CMA is directed to issue acheck jointly payable to the producers and CCC for the Form G loan benefitspayable for the cotton. The producers will then have to take the check to theFSA office and repay the seed cotton recourse loan.

     While these changes make it easier for CMA members to access this program, itis still important that producers play an active role in the process by makingsure information is being correctly exchanged between the CMA and FSA, andseeing that the marketing pool gets confirmation when the seed cotton loan isfinally settled and the CCC lien has been released.

      Thereality of the process however, is that appropriate producer files will likelybe flagged by the CMA and any loan proceeds payable from farms where seed cottonloans were obtained will be paid with a joint check until confirmation of loanrepayment and release of the CCC lien is received.

      Themain reason for this is that producers can request seed cotton loans onindividual modules and are not required to obtain the loan on every moduleproduced on a particular farm. Also, there is no practical way for the CMA toidentify what bales come from a particular module. For the CMA it will likelybe easiest to simply flag the production from the entire farm and issue checkswith CCC’s name on them until proof that the seed cotton loan has been repaidis obtained from the producer or FSA.

      It isin the producer’s best interest to request written proof of the loan settlementand lien release from FSA when the seed cotton loan is repaid. They can thendeliver that confirmation to their CMA. After the lien is released, CMA issuedchecks will no longer list CCC as a joint payee.

 

Advance2005 Direct Payments Available from FSA December 1

LUBBOCK, December 3, 2004      By Shawn Wade

     Producers wanting to keep additional farm income in the 2004 tax year mayrequest a fifty percent advance on their 2005 Direct Payment under the 2005Direct and Counter-cyclical Program (DCP).

     Requests for the advance can be made at county FSA offices anytime afterDecember 1, 2004 by producers enrolled in the 2005 DCP program. To receive theadvance in the 2004 calendar year, producers must make the requests before theend of December and give county offices adequate time to process theapplication and get the payment made.

 

2005 EQIP PDG SessionsScheduled

     Farmers and ranchers have their opportunity to direct the flow of EnvironmentalQuality Incentive Program funds in their County through participation in a seriesof meetings 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 localfunds are prioritized.

      This will be the second yearfor the 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:

Bailey

12/7/04

8:00AM

Five Area Telephone Board Rm.

Hockley

12/7/04

8:00AM

Bank One Meeting Rm.

Lamb

12/8/04

10:00AM

Lamb County Electric Co-op Inc

Garza

12/8/04

8:00AM

Post Community Center

Cottle

12/9/04

1:00PM

Paducah NRCS office

Hansford

12/9/04

1:00PM

First State Bank, Spearman

Donley

12/9/04

2:00PM

Courson RFO, Clarendon College

Carson

12/9/04

8:00AM

Panhandle NRCS office

Potter

12/9/04

9:00AM

NRCS Service Center, Amarillo

Briscoe

12/10/04

10:00AM

City Bank

Hutchinson

12/10/04

10:00AM

Holt Community Bldg., Holt

Ochiltree

12/10/04

9:00AM

Museum of the Plains

Collingsworth

12/13/04

7:00PM

Salt Fork SWCD Bldg.

Terry

12/13/04

8:00AM

Brownfield NRCS office

Lynn

12/14/04

8:00AM

Life Enrichment Center

Yoakum

12/14/04

8:00AM

Plains Community Center

Childress

12/14/04

9:00AM

USDA Bldg. Annex, Childress

Floyd

12/14/04

9:00AM

Floydada NRCS Office

Randall

12/14/04

9:00AM

Farm Bureau Office, Canyon

Swisher

12/15/04

1:00PM

County Annex Building

Hall

12/15/04

9:00AM

Bronze Room, Memphis