Awareness Rising As Different 2005 Ag
Disaster Bills Emerge On Capitol Hill

Friday, September 30, 2005                       By Shawn Wade

      High Plains farmers thatfound themselves on the wrong side of the weather in 2005 are keeping theireyes on Washington as calls for federal assistance increase following recenthurricane damage in Louisiana and Texas.

      One offshoot of thissituation is that the need for an agriculture assistance package is gainingstrength in Congress. In fact several versions of agricultural disasterassistance have begun making the rounds.

      Helping the concept of anagriculture disaster assistance package gain momentum is the fact thatweather-related crop losses have also impacted growers in the Midwest in 2005.

      Several bills are currentlycirculating including one from Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota, theranking member of the House Committee on Agriculture.

      Elsewhere on Capitol Hill,North Dakota's Senator Byron Dorgan and Representative Earl Pomeroy haveintroduced a bill titled "The Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2005"that would provide aid to farmers impacted by the hurricanes, otherweather-related disasters and escalating energy prices.

      For now there is no timetablefor consideration and passage of any 2005 disaster assistance, but the goodnews for growers is that awareness of their situation continues to rise inWashington.

      The recent weather problemsalong the Gulf Coast have certainly helped gain Congresses attention. The nextstep will be to harness that attention and direct it toward passage of anagriculture assistance package that is available to all producers who sufferedweather-related losses in 2005.


TCECotton Profitability Workshops Scheduled

Friday, September 30, 2005                       By Shawn Wade

      Cotton producers can get aleg up on planning their management strategies for 2006 at a cottonprofitability workshop sponsored by Texas Cooperative Extension October 7.

     The program will be designed totake a long, hard look at the impacts of higher 2006 production expenses, andhow this situation may affect operating strategies next year. Because they willhave to face higher energy costs for irrigation, fertilizer, fuel and ginning,the workshop will also examine rental arrangements, how energy prices affect themand include discussion on how they might need to be adjusted.

      The first workshop is slatedfor October 7, from 9 a.m. to noon in the auditorium at the Texas A&MUniversity System Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Lubbock. Thecenter is one mile east of Interstate 27 on FM 1294.

     Three subsequent workshops areslated for December 20 in Plainview, February 22, 2006 in Muleshoe, and March23, 2006 in Plains.

      Jeff Pate and Jay Yates,Extension risk management specialists based at Lubbock, will provide an outlookfor fuel, fertilizer, other farm inputs, and crop prices for 2006. They willalso discuss farm program payments and possible production budgets forirrigated cotton.

      Jackie Smith, Extensioneconomist, will examine crop share rental arrangements, focusing on how tenantsand landlords can share the risk and total investment in an equitableagreement, and cash leases.

      There is no charge toattend. For more information contact Smith at (806) 746-6101, or Extensionoffices in Lubbock County at (806) 775-1680; Hale County at (806) 291-5267;Bailey County at (806) 272-4584; or Yoakum County at (806) 456-2263.


USDA Farm BillForum October 5

Friday, September 30, 2005                       By Shawn Wade

      High Plains growers are beinggiven a front row seat and the opportunity to make their views of the 2002 FarmBill known directly to USDA Secretary Mike Johanns.

      Johanns will be in Lubbock onOctober 5 to conduct the one and only USDA Farm Bill Forum planned for the LoneStar State. The Forum is being held at the Texas Tech University MuseumAuditorium, located at Fourth Street and Indiana Avenue, beginning at 1:00p.m., Wednesday October 5.

      Designed to gather producerinput on different aspects of the 2002 Farm Bill, the USDA sessions arestructured to provide as many opportunities for comment as possible.

      Anyone attending the Forum isinvited to make comments. Due to time constraints oral comments are limited totwo minutes. Producers are also welcome to email comments via the USDA FarmBill Forums website:


2005 TCE HarvestAide 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 downloadableversion of the 2005 Guide is available on the Lubbock Center's website ( under the "What's New" section.


High Plains Calendar October 2005

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.

October 5

USDA Farm Bill Forum, TTU Museum Auditorium, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

October 7

Cotton Profitability Workshop, Lubbock Research and Extension Center, 9:00 a.m.-Noon