Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Taps

PCG Exec For Leadership Post

LUBBOCK, December 17,2004                 ByShawn Wade

      Recognizingthe importance of agriculture and the key role it plays in the Lubbock and areaeconomy, the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce has nominated Plains Cotton Growers,Inc. Executive Vice President Steve Verett to be the organization’s Chair-electfor 2005.

      “Whileit is a great personal honor to be selected as the incoming Chair of theChamber, this is really a statement by the leadership of the Lubbock Chamberthat agriculture is very important to the Lubbock area economy,” said Verett.

      Thenomination puts Verett in line to become the Chairman of the Lubbock Chamber ofCommerce in 2006.

      Verettnotes that the position provides a tremendous opportunity for the Lubbockbusiness and agriculture communities to build on their relationship and keepthe area a vibrant, attractive place to work and do business.

      “Thenext two years will have the Lubbock area facing several critical legislativeand economic issues that will greatly impact the businesses and people thatlive in Lubbock and the surrounding area,” adds Verett. “I look forward toworking with our new Chairman Linda Gaither as we work to represent Lubbock andHigh Plains economic interests before the Texas Legislature and the Congress ofthe United States. Water, school finance reform, state and federal budgetissues and, further down the line, development of the 2007 Farm Bill will beamong the top priorities for the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce over the next twoyears.”

      Verettadds that he is pleased to have the support of the leadership of the LubbockChamber and looks forward to working to represent the business community whilehelping to strengthen Lubbock’s economic future.

     

Texas State Support Program Project Review Highlights Cotton Research

LUBBOCK, December 17, 2004                 By Shawn Wade

      Ameeting of the Cotton Incorporated Texas State Support Committee December 13-14in Lubbock provided committee members and other interested parties an opportunityto hear progress reports on 2004 cotton research activities funded through theCotton Incorporated State Support Program.

      TheLubbock meeting provided an overview of 37 research projects. Three of theprojects reviewed were group projects that combined nine individual researchprojects to prevent duplication of effort and build team-oriented researchefforts that cross institutional and geographic boundaries.

      Researchprojects supported by the Texas State Support Program are carried out byresearchers from Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University, TexasCooperative Extension, the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and theUSDA-Agricultural Research Service.

      Thereview covered a broad range of research topics including cotton breeding andvariety improvement, disease and pest management, production and harvesttechnology, and economics.

      Thegoal of CI State Support Program is to develop, validate and put new technologyand production practices in the hands of producers. Cotton Incorporated doesthis by returning five percent of the organization’s budget to cotton producingstates, based on their production share, and giving producer representatives inthe state responsibility to select the research projects that are funded.

      InTexas, the producer members of the Texas State Support Committee allocate StateSupport Program funds. The TSSC is comprised of producer leaders from each ofthe nine cotton production regions in the state.

      Producerswho are interested in learning more about the Texas State Support Program areencouraged to contact their regional producer organization, local CottonIncorporated or Cotton Board representatives and the Certified ProducerOrganizations that represent them. High Plains cotton growers can contactPlains Cotton Growers to learn more about Cotton Incorporated’s State SupportProgram.

 

Seed Cotton Loans Can Provide 2004 Income

LUBBOCK, December 17,2004                       ByShawn Wade

      Delayedharvest and delays in receiving 2004 crop income has become a concern forproducers approaching the end of the 2004 tax year. Without anticipated 2004income to report because of the late harvest season, many operations couldexperience tax problems including an unintended shift of 2004 crop year revenueinto the 2005 tax year.

      Oneoption for growers is to utilize the Farm Service Agency’s Seed Cotton Loanprogram to keep at least some of their 2004 crop revenues in the 2004 tax yearwhere it belongs.

      Producersinterested in pursuing a Seed Cotton Loan through FSA need to contact their CountyFSA Service Center and get the process started. FSA offices are aware that manyproducers will need this type of assistance and are working hard to expeditethe process and get money to producers before the end of the year.

      Thekey for producers right now is to get the process started and not wait untilthe last minute.

      Whilethe process should only take a few days to complete there are some steps thatcan be taken to make things easier. Producers are encouraged to gather thefollowing information to help keep the process from hitting any snags.

      Firstproducers should bring a listing of all modules that will be included in theloan from each farm or unit on which a loan is being requested. This listingshould include the average height of the modules so that an estimate of lintcotton can be made.

      Anotheruseful piece of information that can be provided by the producer is the averagequality of cotton they have already ginned, or an average quality from theirgin, and the average lint turn-out factor for themselves or their gin in 2004.

 

      FSAoffices may already have obtained quality and turn-out information from thegin, but it is a good idea to have your own, especially if the producer’squality or turn-out numbers are generally higher than the gin average.

      Bytaking a little extra time to gather these important pieces of informationproducers can improve the processing time for their loan application.

 

SHP Passes Boll Weevil Eradication

Retention Referendum

LUBBOCK, December 17,2004           By RogerHaldenby

      Ballotscast in the Southern High Plains Boll weevil Zone Continuation Referendum werecanvassed and certified in Austin December 15 by the Texas Department ofAgriculture.

      TheYES vote to continue the boll weevil eradication program in the SHP zone was anoverwhelming 81%.

      JoeAlspaugh, cotton farmer from Slaton, was elected to serve on the Texas BollWeevil Eradication Foundation board of directors.

      Alspaughreplaces Vicki Davis Patschke, who has served on the board since herappointment in 1997 by Commissioner of Agriculture Susan Combs, and hersubsequent election to the board in the referendum held in November 2000. Shehad decided not to run for re-election because of health problems.

      Official details of the results fromthe Southern High Plains Retention Referendum results:

      Numberof Valid Ballots                                    2570

      Numberof Invalid Ballots                                  119

      Numberof Votes FOR Proposition #1               2083

      Numberof Votes AGAINST Proposition #1       487

      PercentageVoting FOR Proposition #1                  81.05%

      Numberof Votes FOR Joe Alspaugh                1929

      Write-inCandidate                                      74

*Source: TexasDepartment of Agriculture

 

Not Too Late to Register for Gainesville Master Marketer Sessions

LUBBOCK, December 17,2004                       ByShawn Wade

      It isnot too late to enroll in the next Master Marketer Program course. Thefour-session course is offered only one to two times per year at variouslocations across Texas.

      Thecourse seeks to improve producer understanding of commodity markets and teachthem the skills necessary to develop and implement a sound marketing programfor their operation.

      Theprogram is designed for agricultural producers and agribusiness leadersexperienced in marketing commodities and having some knowledge of futures andoptions markets. The course contains 64 hours of intensive marketing training,focusing on wheat, feedgrains, cotton, and livestock.

      SessionI will be held on January 5-6 and is concentrated on a sound understanding ofbasic and intermediate marketing. Major topic areas include budgets/breakeven –financial analysis, basis, basic and advance marketing strategies anddevelopment and implementation of a marketing plan.

      SessionII will be held January 19-20 and concentrate on discussion of the fundamentalfactors that influence market prices and production risk management. Topic/concept areas to be covered include balance sheet analysis, cycles,seasonality, short crop versus normal crop price patterns, market information,market psychology and crop insurance.

      SessionIII is slated for February 2-3 and will focus on incorporating technicalanalysis in the marketing plan as well as fundamental analysis of livestockmarkets. Topic/concept areas to be covered include chart formation,support/resistance, trends, moving average oscillators, and other tools thatcan improve market timing and factors that influence livestock prices.

      SessionIV will be held February 16-17 and is composed of additional discussion of theconcepts learned during the first three sessions and show how producers canbring all that they learned into a disciplined approach to implementing amarketing plan. Other topic/concept areas that will be discussed include legalissues and weather risk/impacts.

      Allfour sessions will be held in Gainesville, Texas. Registration fee for the MasterMarketer Program is $250. The registration deadline is December 21, 2004.

      Thereshould still be time to sign up and participate in the Gainesville MasterMarketer sessions. To sign- up call Dr. Blake Bennett, 972-231-5362, at theDallas Research and Extension Center or contact Dr. Jackie Smith, 806-746-6101,at the Lubbock Research and Extension Center to obtain a brochure and enroll inthe course.