Friday, April 8, 2005 By Shawn Wade
Attendees of the Plains Cotton Growers 48thAnnual Meeting received a treasure trove of information from featured speakersMark Lange and Jim Wiesemeyer.
The pair provided a comprehensive look at thedomestic and international Ag policy issues shaping the future of the U.S.cotton industry and U.S. agriculture policy.
Lange, President and CEO of the NationalCotton Council of America, discussed a broad range of topics starting with thecotton industry’s activities in response to the recent Brazil WTO case and theongoing Doha agricultural negotiations.
Lange noted that the industry is weighingseveral options in regard to the Brazil ruling and continues to work closelywith the U.S. Trade Representatives Office to develop an appropriate response.He added that much of the Brazil ruling deals with issues that the U.S. cottonindustry and USTR believe are best dealt with through the Doha negotiationprocess.
He also noted that the industry is workingdiligently to prevent cotton from being singled out for differential treatmentduring the Doha negotiation process.
On the domestic policy front, Lange broughtthe PCG membership up to speed on the status of the FY2006 BudgetReconciliation process and how the outcome of this debate, coupled with ongoingtrade issues, might impact the opening rounds of the 2007 Farm Bill debate.
Lange concluded his remarks with a detailedlook at the U.S. and International fiber market situation, including Chinesecotton supply and use figures, and the potential impact of higher crude oilprices on cotton demand worldwide.
Lange said that current projections show U.S.cotton producers are expected to plant approximately 13.5 million acres in 2005and produce a crop of 18.7 million bales.
Based on the expectation of increased cottondemand, U.S. stocks are projected to drop by some 1.2 million bales, from 7.1million to 5.9 million bales, by the end of the 2005/06 marketing year. Thiswould mean a stocks-to-use ratio of 29.3 percent at the end of 2005/06, a sevenpercent decline from 2004/05 levels.
Wiesemeyer, Vice President for InformaEconomics in Washington, DC, presented an interesting and energetic look at theagriculture policy landscape starting with the 2004 election’s impact onfederal budget issues, trade policy and future farm programs.
Wiesemeyer’s comments covered many issues,but he was particularly insightful as he discussed the political ramificationsof the most recent election cycle. He detailed those individuals he thoughtwould be key Ag policy players from the Bush Administration, the House ofRepresentatives and the Senate.
He also included a detailed analysis of farmprogram expenditures and how commodity program payments are impactingproducers.
Wiesemeyer concluded his remarks by sharinghis views on current trade negotiations and how budget pressures will impactfuture farm policy debates.
He reiterated on multiple occasions that thecotton industry has achieved many key farm policy successes, often years beforeother commodities get a similar benefit, because of its ability to worktogether through the National Cotton Council and regional producerorganizations like Plains Cotton Growers. He encouraged the industry tocontinue to play to its strengths during upcoming budget, trade and farm policydebates.
He stressed that cotton has a good story totell on many fronts and that the dynamic leadership and creative thinking thatcharacterizes the cotton industry will translate into continued success as longas producers continue to support the organizations that are working for themlike the National Cotton Council and Plains Cotton Growers.
PCG members also received a Farm ServiceAgency update from Texas State FSA Commodity/Compliance Division Chief TedPeabody, Jr., of College Station, who discussed the status of the 2003/2004Crop Disaster Program sign-up process as well as new eGov initiatives that willeventually allow producers to take care of much of their FSA business from homeover the internet.
Texas Cooperative Extension Cotton SpecialistDr. Randy Boman of Lubbock presented a 2005 Crop Preview, highlighting new seedtechnology options that would be tested in the field for the first time in2005, and summarized results from the 2004 Systems Variety Evaluation Project.
Boman encouraged producers to fully considerthe performance of different varieties by reviewing the results of the SystemsVariety Evaluation Project as well as the Small Plot Replicated Trialsconducted by Dr. John Gannaway.
PCG President Rickey Bearden of Plains andPlains Cotton Improvement Committee Chairman Dale Swinburn of Tulia presentedtheir Annual reports to the PCG membership during the meeting and ExecutiveVice President Steve Verett wrapped things up by reporting on theorganization’s activities over the past year and what would be garnering theorganization’s attention during the 2005/2006 growing season.
PCG Board Elects 2005-2006 Officers, ExecutiveCommittee
During the organization’squarterly meeting April 7, the PCG Board of Directors unanimously re-electedcurrent PCG President Rickey Bearden, of Plains, Vice President Mike Hughes ofLamesa, and Secretary-Treasurer Barry Evans of Kress to lead the organizationin 2005-2006.
The PCG Board of Directors alsoelected representatives to serve on the 2005-2006 PCG Executive Committee. Eachyear the PCG Board elects a total of nine directors, three from each of theorganization’s three sub-regions, to serve alongside the organization’s threeelected officers and two most recent past presidents.
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Members of the 2005-2006 PCGExecutive Committee are: District 1 representatives - Johnie Reed of Kress,James Brown of Muleshoe and Dan B. Smith of Lockney; District 2 representatives- Craig Heinrich and Eugene Bednarz of Slaton and Scott Harmon of Idalou;District 3 representatives - Wesley Butchee of Seagraves, Al Spinks of Midlandand Shawn Holladay of Lamesa; President Rickey Bearden of Plains, VicePresident Mike Hughes of Lamesa, Secretary-Treasurer Barry Evans of Kress,Chairman Mark Williams of Farwell, and past president Ronnie Hopper ofPetersburg.
Friday, April 8, 2005 By Shawn Wade
High Plains cotton producers are busyfinalizing planting plans for the 2005 growing season and trying to estimateproduction costs as they develop budgets for the coming year.
Growers going through this process arereminded that the latest version of the Plains Cotton Growers Seed CostCalculator was posted on the PCG website Wednesday, March 16 and featuresseveral different ways to compare seed and technology costs based on acombination of suggested retail prices and planting rates.
One of the latest additions to the Calculatoris a worksheet that illustrates the impact of the Monsanto Cap Cost Program.The new worksheet will allow growers who utilize higher seeding rates, forexample rates above 56,000 seed per acre, to see how their tech fees areimpacted by participation in the Roundup Rewards Cap Cost Program.
The Monsanto Cap Cost Program sets an upperlimit on technology costs per acre for those growers who meet the requirementsof the Roundup Rewards Cap Cost Program.
Producers interested in using the newcalculator can download a copy from the PCG website (www.plainscotton.org
The Lubbock County Marketing Club is joiningforces with the New York Board of Trade and Cotton Incorporated to host Dr.Carl Anderson and Swiss Financial Services’ Mike Stevens as they participate inthe April Ag Market Network teleconference.
Mississippi State’s Dr. O.A. Cleveland willalso be participating in the teleconference. The teleconference will begin at7:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 12 and anyone interested in participating is invitedto the Holiday Inn Hotel & Towers, located at 801 Avenue Q in Lubbock.
The Ag Market Network teleconference willprecede the free “Hedging with Options for Cotton Producers: Beginner andIntermediate Workshop” that is being held at the same location.
The free marketing workshop is sponsored bythe New York Board of Trade, Cotton Incorporated and Plains Cotton Growers,Inc. and is designed to help producers develop and sharpen their cottonmarketing skills.
This year’s workshop is also being held onTuesday, April 12, 2005 at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Towers, located at 801Avenue Q in Lubbock. The workshop will run from 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. Lunchwill be provided to all workshop participants.
Workshop topics include: ”Why are options oncotton futures critical to your business?”; “What can options do for you andhow?”; “Actionable hedging strategies”; and presentation of a 2005 MarketOutlook by Texas Cooperative Extension Economist Dr. John Robinson of CollegeStation.
For information about the conference contactTim Barry at the New York Board of Trade (212-748-4096), Jeanne Reeves atCotton Incorporated (919-678-2370) or Shawn Wade at Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.(806-792-4904).
Registration is required for the conferenceand participants can register by telephone or email. Telephone registrationscan be directed to Raquel Allen (212-748-4094); Kay Wriedt (919-678-2271); orJulie Wheeler (806-792-4904).
Email registrations should be sent to one ofthe following addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org at the New York Board of Trade, or email@example.com