RMA Working On Process To Allow APHCredit
For Cotton Production Lost In Module Fires

Friday,January 27, 2006                           By Shawn Wade

      AlthoughUSDA's Risk Management Agency is still trying to work out the details, cottonproducers across Texas and much of the Southwest are ready to offer the agencya hearty "Thank You" should it develop and publish procedure modifications thatwill allow cotton growers to get APH credit for harvested production destroyedin the module prior to ginning.

      Thecrux of the producer's problem is that in all but the most extreme cases theloss of a cotton module(s) prior to ginning rarely translates into a claimagainst coverage provided by the federal crop insurance program. The loss ishowever a significant issue for the producer when they are unable to get creditfor the destroyed portion of the crop they produced.

      PlainsCotton Growers officials note that because of the agency's willingness tolisten to grower concerns, and work with them to fully understand the problem,the idea of rectifying this situation is on the verge of becoming a reality.

      RMAofficials say the agency is working to finalize a process that meets the needsof cotton growers and the Agency in this situation. Assuming everything isworked out internally by RMA and the new procedure approved, growers caught inthis unfortunate predicament should avoid what in the past has been guaranteedto be a double shot of bad news.


TASS Relies OnAccurate Cotton Gin Data
To Determine County Production Levels

Friday,January 27, 2006                           By Shawn Wade

      Duringthe course of the harvest season statisticians with the Texas AgriculturalStatistics Service work closely with cotton gins to gather cotton ginning datafor every Texas county.

      Withginning activity in many parts of the state already complete or at leastbeginning to wind down, TASS is requesting that gins continue to send in theirginning data and help them complete documentation of 2005's record productionlevels.

      TASSofficials say they appreciate their ability to rely on cotton gins in the stateto actively participate in this important survey program.

      TASSdepends greatly on the cooperation of Texas cotton gins to gather and reportthe most accurate information possible. All data collected by TASS is keptstrictly confidential and reports are aggregated to avoid disclosure ofindividual data.

      Whensubmitting final 2005 ginning data, gins are encouraged to be as accurate aspossible and specify both the number of bales ginned as well as the county and/orstate in which the bales were originally produced.

      Thisdata is included in the Agency's Final Cotton Ginnings Report each crop yearand is also used to verify county level production estimates each year.


2006 EQIPApplication Period Ends Feb. 17

Friday,January 27, 2006                           By Shawn Wade

      Growersinterested in participating in the 2006 Environmental Quality IncentivesProgram (EQIP), the EQIP Ground and Surface Water Conservation Program(EQIP-GSWC) and the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) have untilFebruary 17, 2006 to get their applications in to their local USDA NaturalResources Conservation Service office.

      Atotal of $72.37 million in 2006 conservation program funds have been allocatedto Texas for EQIP, the EQIP-GSWC, and WHIP. The initial $72.37 millionallocated for Texas will be used to solve locally identified resource problemsin individual counties and will also fund special statewide resource concernsrecommended by the Texas State Technical Committee such as water quantity,water and air quality, wildlife habitat and control of invasive species.

      Followingthe end of the sign-up period all applications received will be ranked based ona predetermined criteria set. For 2006, Texas funding priorities were developedwith the assistance of local input, the NRCS State Technical Committee andTexas State Conservationist Dr. Larry Butler and his staff.

      Fundsfor EQIP, EQIP-GSWC and WHIP are authorized by the 2002 Farm Bill as tools toenhance voluntary conservation activity on U.S. farms and ranches. The programsoffer technical and financial assistance to eligible participants to install orimplement structural or management practices on eligible land.

      LocalNRCS field offices will have complete details of individual county and stateresource concerns. Additional information, including ranking criteria, eligiblepractices and cost-share rates for these and other NRCS Farm Bill programs isalso available on the Texas NRCS website at http://www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/

      Thefollowing is a breakdown of 2006 EQIP, EQIP-GSWC and WHIP finding for Texas byresource concern/region.


2006 Texas Funding Allocations

Program/Resource Concern

FY 2006

Initial Funding



Water Quantity - Brush Management


Invasive Species


Water Quantity - Irrigation


Wildlife Habitat


Water Quality - South Central Texas


Water Conservation - Ogallala


Limited Resource Farmer or Rancher


Plant Condition - Reforestation


County Base (approx. $133,000 per County)


EQIP Total


EQIP-GSWC (Ogallala) Total


WHIP Total


2006 Funding Total



Continued on Page 2

High PlainsProduction Conferences Offer
Education/CEU Opportunities for Producers

      Helpingfarmers stay up on the latest trends in crop production, marketing, andmanagement ideas is the number one goal of High Plains crop productionconferences.

      Sponsoredby Texas Cooperative Extension, the Conferences offer valuable productioninformation for producers entering the 2006 growing season.

      Conferencesare scheduled at multiple locations throughout the area to provide growers anopportunity to receive this information without having to travel too far fromhome.

      Byattending the conferences producers can also earn continuing education units(CEUs) necessary to maintain private and commercial applicator licenses.

      Thisyear's conference dates and locations are:

February 7

South Plains Ag Conference, 8:00 a.m.,


Nikki Vinson Youth Center, 110 W. Hill, Brownfield.


For more information contact Chris Bishop, Terry CEA-AG, at 806-637-4060.

February 9

Sandyland Agricultural Conference, 8:00 a.m.,


Gaines County Civic Building, Seminole. A total of 5 CEU credits will be available to licensed pesticide applicators at the meeting.


For more information contact Terry Millican, Gaines CEA-AG, at 432-758-4006.

February 10

Hale/Swisher Crops Conference, 9:00 a.m.,


Ollie Liner Center, Plainview. A total of 5 CEU credits will be available to licensed pesticide applicators at the meeting.


For more information contact Michael Dollie, Hale CEA-AG, at 806-291-5267.