USDA Announces Final 2004-cropUpland
Cotton Counter-CyclicalPayment Rate

Friday, September 23, 2005                       By Shawn Wade

      Agriculture Secretary MikeJohanns has announced that the final 2004-crop Counter-cyclical Payment ratefor Upland cotton would be 13.73 cents per pound.

      As part of the 2002 FarmBill, final counter-cyclical program (CCP) payments for Upland Cotton are madeafter the end of the marketing year August 31. Based on provisions of the 2002Farm Bill, eligible cotton producers had the opportunity to request two partial2004-crop CCP payments, one in October 2004 and one in February 2005.

      Upland Cotton producers whoreceived the first and second partial CCP payments for 2004-crop Upland Cottonreceived 9.61-cents-per-pound and are due an additional 4.12-cents-per-pound.

      The payment rate for UplandCotton is at its maximum level due to low market prices that averaged wellbelow the 52-cents-per-pound loan rate during the 2004 marketing year. Becauseof these low prices, USDA was able to determine the final counter-cyclical rateat this time.

      The counter-cyclical paymentrate is the amount by which the "target price" of eligible commodities exceedtheir effective price. The effective price equals the applicable directpayment rate plus the higher of: (1) the national average market price receivedby producers during the marketing year, or (2) the national average loan ratefor the commodity.

      The counter-cyclical paymentequals the counter-cyclical payment rate multiplied by 85 percent of the farm'sbase acreage multiplied by the farm's counter-cyclical payment yield for eachcrop. Target prices are mandated in the 2002 Farm Bill.


VerettReceives WTACI Institutional Award
For OutstandingIndustry Service

Friday, September 23, 2005                       ByRoger Haldenby

      Each year since 1968, theWest Texas Agricultural Chemicals Institute has presented awards to individualswho have made outstanding contributions to the agriculture industry of WestTexas.

      At the organization's 53rdAnnual Agricultural Chemicals Conference on September 21, 2005 WTACI presentedPlains Cotton Growers Executive Vice President Steve Verett with theorganization's Institutional Award recognizing Verett's contributions to theindustry in West Texas.

      The Institutional Award is givento a person representing a state, federal, or private agency or an institution,of higher education.

      The 2005 WTACI CommercialAward was presented to Benny and Kay White of Lamesa. Benny and Kay operateBenny White Flying Service.

      The Commercial Award ispresented to a person directly employed in the industry. Included are dealerrepresentatives, distributors, consultants, and applicators.


PCG ExecutiveCommittee Sits Down With Monsanto Representatives To Discuss Issues

Friday, September 23, 2005                       By Shawn Wade

      Members of the Plains CottonGrowers Executive Committee sat down with representatives from Monsanto onSeptember 22 to discuss ideas for the continuation of key risk-sharing andvalue-added programs associated with Monsanto technology traits.

      The discussions included areport on Monsanto's findings from their 2005 RoundupReady dryland cotton pilotprogram, information about the new Roundup Ready Flex technology and a previewof Monsanto's plans involving the marketing of its' Stoneville/NexGencottonseed varieties in 2006.

      The meeting is a continuationof PCG and Monsanto's efforts to work together, share ideas and investigate newand innovative ways to add value to the technology products available to WestTexas cotton producers.


Favorable WeatherCarrying 2005
High Plains Crop IntoHarvest Season

Friday, September 23, 2005                       By Shawn Wade

      With the last week ofSeptember rapidly approaching, the 2005 crop year is winding down in what mightbe record-breaking fashion. USDA's September crop estimate indicated the areahad the potential to rewrite the record books for the second straight year.

      Since the report was releasedeleven days ago, the region has continued to take advantage of above normaltemperatures that are more reminiscent of late August that late September. Thisfavorable weather pattern has also put many High Plains cotton producers intoharvest mode as they begin planning harvest aid application strategies andgetting ready for harvest operations that could begin as early as the firstweek in October.

      The only hiccup that hasoccurred since the USDA report was the unwelcome appearance of several strongthunderstorms this past weekend. These storms don't seem to have caused damageover a very large area, but they did inflict significant damage to manyproducers.

      Despite this additionaldamage, the 41-county PCG service area still seems to be on track to meet theUSDA estimate of 4.93 million bales. So far, 2005 acreage losses have beentracking well below the region's ten-year average abandonment rate of 23percent. To date only about 6-7 percent of the area's 3.7 million cotton acreshave been lost according to USDA.


Continued on Page Two


      Contributing to the lowabandonment was the ability of many growers to replant cotton in a timelyfashion after several early hailstorms.

      The effects of more recentacreage losses and crop damage are probably not fully accounted for in the USDAfigures, but will most likely be picked up by the time of the October report.


2005Harvest Aide Guide Now Available

      Dr. Randy Boman, ExtensionCotton Agronomist with the Texas A&M University Research and ExtensionCenter at Lubbock, has released the 2005 Harvest Aide Guide to help producersmake harvest aide decisions going into the 2005 harvest season.

      A downloadable version of the2005 Guide is available on the Lubbock Center's website ( under the "What's New" section.

      The 2005 Guide includesinformation on how to determine when to apply treatments, information aboutavailable products, application and harvest considerations and a 2005 HarvestAide decision table that will help producers make application decisions.


High Plains Crop Tour & FieldDay Schedule *

September/October 2005

Sept. 28

Crosby County Crop Tour. Contact Steve Young, CEA-AG, at 806-675-2347.

Sept. 28

All-Tex Seed Field Day, Levelland, Texas,

Call 806-894-4901 for more information.

Sept. 29

Stoneville / NexGen Field Day, 9:00 am – Noon, at Stoneville's Idalou Research Station, located at the intersection of FM 789 and Highway 62/82 east of Idalou. Lunch will be provided.

October 3

Plains Cotton Improvement Program Field Day, 9:00 a.m., Lubbock Research and Extension Center, RSVP to Sheryl at 806-746-6101 ext 4305.

October 5

Halfway / Helms Farm Field Day, 9:00 a.m. Halfway Research Station, call 806-746-6101 for more information.

*To add an event to thiscalendar contact PCG at 806-792-4904

Tuesday, September 20, 2005



2005 Cotton Crop Has Huge Potential


      MANY FOLKS ON THE Texas HighPlains figured the enormous 2004 cotton crop to be something they would be hardpressed to see but once in a lifetime.

      As we edge toward harvesttime, it's becoming apparent the 2005 crop could prove either to be a rarechance to see bumper record crops back to back, or a first indicator toward anew trend for the world's largest cotton patch.

      Even though the market pricefor cotton continues to remain depressed, Lubbock and the rest of this GiantSide of Texas easily could witness another cash injection to the area'sunderlying economy - at the farm level - approaching $1 ¼ billion.

      The rollover impact fromfarm, cotton gin and industry spending on crop inputs, fuel and energysupplies, labor and capital equipment multiplies the farm level figure to morethan $4 billion in the regional economy.

      With 20 percent of the UnitedStates' cotton crop being produced in the 41-county area covered byLubbock-based Plains Cotton Growers Inc., the producer representativeorganization stresses that the farmers of the Texas High Plains, the qualityfiber they grow and the economic throughput derived from their crops are ofregional, state and national importance.

      Our cotton industry providesthe underpinning for the economic well-being of Lubbock and surroundingcommunities, small and large.

      In like manner, the 2002 FarmBill provides our cotton industry with the underpinning of a safety netallowing our farmers to manage their business through unforeseen vagaries ofclimate and low prices.

      The Farm Bill, and thesupport it provides to our farmers, certainly is important to them individuallybut the biggest payoff comes as those dollars turn over many times on their journeythrough the communities and businesses of this area, our state and our nation.

      Mother Nature, for the mostpart, has been kind to our compatriots in agriculture the past few seasons.

      This kindness gave Texas andthis area a record cotton crop in 2004. Again in 2005, the bounty of thiswhite, fluffy, renewable resource raised by the cotton growers of West Texas isabout to become another Giant prime for the economic engine pump of this GiantSide of Texas.


*Editorials represent the opinion of The Avalanche-JournalEditorial Board, which consists of Publisher Stephen A. Beasley, Editor RandySanders, Editorial Page Editor Joe Hughes, editorial writer Joe Gulick, andcommunity members Isaac Garcia, Clark elf and Carmen Vige.