Monsanto Modifying Eligibility Requirements for
2005 Roundup Rewards Program

Friday, March 25, 2005                        By Shawn Wade

      Monsanto Company officialshave announced a change in the eligibility requirements for the 2005 Texas, NewMexico and Oklahoma Roundup Rewards Program after consultations with Lubbock,Texas-based Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. (PCG).

      As a result of PCG’s inputMonsanto has made the following change for the 2005 growing season: RoundupOriginal Max(tm), in addition to Roundup WeatherMax(r), will now qualify afarmer for Monsanto’s $17.00 per cotton seed bag Trait Replant Relief Program.This change does not eliminate any other qualifications required forparticipation in the Monsanto Roundup Rewards(r) Program.

      “High Plains cotton producerswill appreciate Monsanto’s efforts to listen and respond to their concerns,”says PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett. “Providing growers the fullbenefit provided by the Roundup Rewards(r) Trait Replant Relief Program, andthe latitude to select the most economical and appropriate MonsantoRoundup-brand herbicide for their farming situation, is a significant help togrowers concerned about the potential increase in Roundup Ready(r) system costsgoing into the 2005 season.”

      “This change allows growersto maintain an essentially flat Roundup Ready system cost during the 2005growing season without the loss of the important value-added benefits that comewith use of Monsanto-branded products,” concluded Verett.

      Prior to this announcement,eligibility requirements for the Trait Replant Relief Program specified atleast one qualifying treatment to be Roundup WeatherMax(r). Otherwise, thefarmer would have only been eligible for the technology fee rebate portion ofthe program in a replant situation.

      The Monsanto decision followsa series of meetings involving members of the PCG Executive Committee, Officersand Staff who have been discussing producer reactions to the technologyproviders 2005 pricing and value-added programs.

      One of the main messagescommunicated to Monsanto was the importance of the company responding toproducer concerns about the increase in technology pricing for 2005. As a partof that response, PCG encouraged Monsanto to continue to point out thecorresponding decreases in Roundup herbicide prices, and that the company gofurther and consider modifications to their 2005 Roundup Rewards(r) TraitReplant Relief Program.

      Monsanto was also encouragedto continue efforts to communicate to growers how the company’s 2005 technologyand herbicide price changes were intended to achieve its stated goal of keepingthe cost of the Monsanto’s Roundup technology package even with 2004 costlevels.

      Monsanto officials note thatwhen evaluating the 2005 cost of the Roundup Ready technology system, producersneed to keep in mind the interaction between 2005 Roundup Ready technology feesand 2005 prices for Roundup-brand herbicides.

      The price of Roundup OriginalMax(tm) was lowered in 2005 as part of the company’s efforts to balance itspricing structure between the technology and herbicide product lines.

      One Monsanto Program thatgrowers can access through the use of WeatherMax(r) is the company’s seed dropexception or “Cap-Cost” program. This program puts a ceiling on Roundup Readytechnology costs for growers that utilize WeatherMax(r) in their Rounduptechnology program and whose average seeding rate exceeds 56,000-58,000 seedper planted acre. The vast majority of High Plains cotton acreage is planted atseeding rates below this level, although some growers could lower their Rounduptechnology cost through the program.

      Monsanto officials remindgrowers that additional, product-specific guarantees, in addition to qualifyingfor the “Cap-Cost” program, are also part of the WeatherMax(r) product package.They add that growers should contact their local authorized Monsanto retaileror Monsanto sales representative to determine which product provides the bestfit for their operation.

 

FREE Optionsand Hedging Workshop April 12

Friday, March 25, 2005                        By Shawn Wade

      For the second year the NewYork Board of Trade, Cotton Incorporated and Plains Cotton Growers are hostinga free “Hedging with Options for Cotton Producers: Beginner and IntermediateWorkshop” that is designed to help producers develop and sharpen their cottonmarketing skills.

      This year’s workshop will beheld on Tuesday, April 12, 2005 at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Towers, locatedat 801 Avenue Q in Lubbock. The workshop will run from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00p.m. Lunch will be provided to all workshop participants.

      Workshop topics include: ”Whyare options on cotton futures critical to your business?”; What can options dofor you and how?”; “Actionable hedging strategies”; and presentation of a 2005Market Outlook by Texas Cooperative Extension Economist Dr. John Robinson ofCollege Station.

      Instructors for the workshopwill be Judith Ganes-Chase, of J. Ganes Consulting, LLC, and Eric Matsen, ofMatsen Enterprises, LLC. Mr. Matsen and Ms. Ganes-Chase each have more than 20years of food and agricultural commodity trading experience and conduct riskmanagement and marketing seminars around the country.

      For information about theconference contact Tim Barry at the New York Board of Trade (212-748-4096),Jeanne Reeves at Cotton Incorporated (919-678-2370) or Shawn Wade at PlainsCotton Growers, Inc. (806-792-4904).

      Registration is required forthe conference and participants can register by telephone or email. Telephoneregistrations can be directed to Raquel Allen (212-748-4094); Kay Wriedt(919-678-2271; or, Julie Wheeler (806-792-4904).

      Email registrations should besent to one of the following addresses: rallen@nybot.com at the New York Board of Trade, or kwriedt@cottoninc.com at Cotton Incorporated.