PCG Annual Meeting Line-up Taking Shape

Friday, February 18, 2005                          By Shawn Wade

      In six short weeks the PlainsCotton Growers, Inc, membership will gather for the organization’s 48thAnnual Meeting. With the planning process in full swing for the April 7, 2005meeting, PCG is on track to provide its members an unparalleled speakerline-up.

      PCG’s Annual Meeting is beingheld in conjunction with the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Convention & Trade Show,April 7-8 at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. The meeting will be held in theCivic Center Banquet Hall with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. and theprogram starting at 9:00 a.m. April 7.

      PCG officials are working todevelop the agenda for the meeting and are well on their way to finalizing aninteresting and informative program. PCG is pleased to announce that thisyear’s line-up includes Jim Wiesemeyer of Informa Economics.

      Wiesemeyer lives in theWashington, DC area and is considered the “dean” of Washington ag journalists.He is a nationally respected agricultural policy analyst with over 20 years ofexperience covering agricultural policy in Washington,

      Wiesemeyer will deliver aunique view of the Washington ag policy landscape to growers on the Texas HighPlains. Those already familiar with Wiesemeyer’s columns through subscriptionsto AgWeb.com know about his vast knowledge of ag policy issues. His insightinto the actions of major agriculture policy players will be both educationaland entertaining.

      Speaking invitations havealso been extended to Texas Senator John Cornyn and San Antonio CongressmanHenry Bonilla. Neither legislator has been able to confirm their availabilityfor the meeting, but additional information regarding their participation willbe released as it becomes available.

      Senator Cornyn is a member ofthe Senate Budget Committee and Congressman Bonilla is a member of the HouseAppropriations Committee. He is also Chairman of the Agriculture and RuralDevelopment Subcommittee.

      It is hoped that thesegentlemen can provide an insider’s take on the FY06 Budget process as Congressworks to develop a budget reconciliation plan.

      Also confirmed to participatein the PCG Annual Meeting is National Cotton Council of America President andChief Executive Officer Mark Lange of Memphis, Tennessee. Lange will provide areport on NCC activities, information on the FY06 budget process, an update onthe status of the U.S. appeal of the Brazil Cotton case before the World TradeOrganization, and an update on the WTO Doha Round agricultural negotiations.

      PCG President Rickey Bearden,Executive Vice President Steve Verett and Plains Cotton Improvement CommitteeChairman Dale Swinburn will also provide reports. Bearden and Verett willreport on issues PCG has been involved in over the past year and highlight theissues most important to High Plains cotton producers that will capture theorganization’s focus during the remainder of 2005 and beyond.

      Swinburn will present anupdate on PCG led research activities conducted through the Plains Cotton ImprovementProgram with financial oversight provided by PCG.

      Detailed information aboutPCG’s 48th Annual Meeting speakers will be provided in thisnewsletter and through PCG’s Email service in the weeks leading up to the PCGAnnual Meeting April 7. For information about how to receive up-to-date andpertinent cotton information go to the PCG website (www.plainscotton.org) or call 806-792-4904.


PCG/RMA Making Significant Progress Toward Resolution of DeferredAppraisal Issue

Friday, February 18, 2005                          By Shawn Wade

      Agreeing the best way to findsolutions was to sit across the table from one another, exchange informationand fully discuss viable alternatives may prove to be the turning point in along-running dialogue between Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. and the USDA RiskManagement Agency.

      The issue on the table wasthe current Risk Management Agency rule regarding Deferred Appraisals and amandatory deferral period for acreage that fails to establish a stand when seeddoes not emerge due to insufficient soil moisture.

      Representatives from PCG andthe Risk Management Agency met in Kansas City February 16 and made significantprogress toward a compromise solution on the issue that protects the interestsof both High Plains cotton producers and RMA.

      The meeting’s positive resultshould also allow the process to shift from seeking solutions to finalizing anagreement.

      “The membership of PlainsCotton Growers is extremely appreciative of the Agency’s willingness to worktoward an equitable solution on the deferred appraisal issue,” says PCGExecutive Vice President Steve Verett. “Working together we have crafted whatwe believe will be a solution that allows producers to make timely farmmanagement decisions and maintains actuarially sound risk management productsfor the U.S. cotton producer.”

      PCG offers its sincere thanksto Dr. Randy Boman, Extension Cotton Specialist, Dr. John Gannaway, TexasAgricultural Experiment Station Cotton Breeder, and National Cotton CouncilVice President - Producer Affairs Craig Brown, of Memphis, TN, who participatedin the meeting with PCG Staff members Steve Verett and Shawn Wade, and to theUSDA-RMA personnel who were involved in the meeting.

      Risk Management Agencypersonnel that participated in the meeting were: David Hatch, AssociateAdministrator, RMA; Tim Hoffmann, Director, Product Development Division;Heyward Baker, Director, Risk Management Services; Ann Jenkins, InsuranceManagement Specialist; Kent Lanclos, Senior Economist; Dave Bell, Chief,Product Development-Loss Adjustment Standards; Sam Cameron, Senior RiskManagement Specialist; Shirley Harris, Risk Management Specialist; and TaraPonds, Risk Management Specialist.