Lubbock and Lamesa Classing Offices Report
Slackening ReceiptsFrom High Plains Gins

Friday, February 17, 2006                        By Shawn Wade

      With the passage ofValentine's Day, many High Plains cotton gins are finally beginning to seelight at the end of the tunnel and, based on reports through February 15, itappears less than ten percent of the 2005 crop remains to be ginned.

      Lubbock Cotton Classingoffice director Kenny Day reports that a rapidly dwindling list of about 20gins are still ginning cotton. Based on his conversations with those ginsapproximately 240,000 bales remain to be ginned in the Lubbock office's serviceterritory.

      A similar report was receivedfrom Lamesa Classing Office director Ralph Cummings who says that over the nextfew weeks more of the 21 gins he is still receiving samples from will reach theend of their run. He notes that current estimates indicate an additional100,000 samples will be received.

      Based on the numbers from theLubbock and Lamesa offices it appears that 340,000 bales of cotton wereunginned through February 15.

      Lubbock office director Dayestimates that his office will probably process just over 4.1 million samplesthis season. The Lamesa office estimates it will process samples from around1.4 million bales to bring the two-office total up to 5.5 million runningbales.

      Adjusting this number to the480 pound bale equivalent reported by USDA's National Ag Statistical Servicesputs total production for the 2005 High Plains crop right at the 5.66 millionbale mark. This compares quite favorably with the latest NASS productionestimate for the area of 5.63 million bales.

      Quality readings for the last10 or so percent of the crop continue to be quite good with the most notablechange being a slight increase in the number of barky bales moving through theoffices. Otherwise the crop's Color, Micronaire, Strength and Lengthmeasurements continue to hold to the high quality pattern established early inthe season.

 

Bill Filed To Extend Farm Program;
High Plains Reps Lead Effort To Bring Drought Relief

Friday, February 17, 2006                        By Shawn Wade

      Amarillo Congressman MacThornberry filed legislation in the House of Representatives (H.R. 4775) toextend the 2002 Farm Bill through completion of the WTO's Doha negotiations andkeep the current farm bill in place for one year after Congress approves thenecessary legislation to implement any eventual Doha agreement.

      In his statement explainingwhy he submitted the legislation Thornberry noted that, unless the Dohanegotiations can be completed before the current farm bill expires, Congresswould be attempting to write important U.S. agriculture policy without a clearunderstanding of the international market conditions that might be created bythe next WTO agreement.

      He said that the only way toprevent American farmers from being put at a competitive disadvantage is tohold off on the development of the next farm bill until new international traderules are agreed upon.

      According to Plains CottonGrowers officials, Thornberry's action will be greatly appreciated by farmersand viewed as a logical step toward making sure future U.S. farm policy isconsistent with international trade obligations.

      Thornberry's bill was filedthe day after Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns presented an oppositeopinion to the House's Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.

      During the question andanswer session following presentation of his formal testimony Johanns toldmembers of the Committee that he sees no reason for Congress to delayconsideration of the 2007 Farm Bill. He also voiced his concern that extendingcurrent farm law might actually be detrimental to the WTO negotiation processand his belief that Congress could put together good farm legislation withoutknowing all the details of a final Doha trade deal.

      Based on the actions of Mr.Thornberry and comments from legislators, Johanns position doesn't seem to beshared by many in Congress.

Letter To House Leadership RequestsAssistance

      High Plains Representatives Mike Conaway, Randy Neugebauer and Mac Thornberry signed their names on a letter to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House Committee on Agriculture requesting legislation to assist Texas and Oklahoma farmers and ranchers impacted by drought and other poor weather conditions.

      The letter, which pointed outthat producers in other parts of the country were also seriously impacted bydestructive weather in 2005, focused on the situation in Texas and Oklahoma.

      It described the situation asa continuing drought, the like of which has not been seen since the greatdrought of the 1950s. The ongoing drought and high winds have led toincreasingly destructive range fires, and extremely adverse conditions in theagriculture industry.

 

Second 2005 Partial CC Payment Announced

Friday, February 17, 2006                        By Shawn Wade

      Questions about the timing ofthe next 2005 Advance Counter-cyclical payment were answered Tuesday with theannouncement of payment rates for the second partial 2005 Counter-cyclicalpayment by the USDA Farm Service Agency.

      The announcement maintainedUSDA's projection for a maximum 2005 Counter-cyclical payment rate for UplandCotton. The maximum counter-cyclical payment rate allowed by the 2002 Farm Billis 13.73-cents.

      Based on this announcement,cotton producers requesting the second partial payment will be eligible toreceive 70 percent of the estimated 2005 payment rate, or 9.61 cents per pound,if they did not request the first partial Counter-cyclical payment in October2005.

      Producers who received thefirst partial Counter-cyclical payment of 4.81 cents will be limited to anadditional 4.8 cents for their second partial payment.

      The following table providesthe second 2005 partial Counter-cyclical payment rates for eligible programcrops as announced by the Farm Service Agency.

 

 

Crop

Projected

Payment Rate

2nd Advance Payment Rate

Payment Rate Less 1st Advance

Upland Cotton (lb)

$0.1373

$0.0961

$0.048

Corn (bu)

$0.40

$0.2800

$0.1400

Grain Sorghum (bu)

$0.27

$0.1890

$0.0945

Peanuts (ton)

$104

$72.8

$36.40

Rice (cwt)

$0.35

$0.245

$0.0525

Barley (bu)

$0.15

$0.105

$0.0525

Source: USDA Farm Service Agency

 

2006 CSP Information Meetings Scheduled

Friday, February 17, 2006                        By Shawn Wade

      USDA-Natural ResourcesConservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Dr. Larry D. Butler announcedthe 2006 Conservation Security Program (CSP) sign-up to be held Feb. 13, 2006to March 31, 2006 will include several watersheds located within the TexasPanhandle-High Plains region.

      In the High Plains region,the Upper Prairie Dog Town Fork Red, the South Wichita, and the Upper Beaverwatersheds are three of the five watersheds offered for the 2006 CSP program.The additional state watersheds selected were East Fork Trinity and theWichita. The sign-up will only include those producers who do not have anexisting CSP contract.

      In the Upper Prairie Dog TownFork Red, the South Wichita, and the Upper Beaver watersheds producers willhave the opportunity to attend the following meetings to get more informationabout what it takes to apply for a CSP contract in 2006.

 

High Plains CSP InformationMeeting Schedule

 

Upper Prairie Dog Town Fork Red Watershed

Contact Glen Overby, Watershed Manager, at (806) 226-3951or by email (mailto:glen.overby@tx.usda.gov) for more information.

February 21, 2006

1:00 p.m., Armstrong County Activity Center, Claude, TX

February 23, 2006

1:00 p.m., Randall County Farm Bureau, 1715 5th Ave., Canyon, TX

February 28, 2006

1:30 p.m., City Bank Pioneer Room, 200 South Main, Silverton, TX

 

 

South Wichita Watershed

Contact Billy Drennan, Watershed Manager, at (806) 596-4658, or by email (mailto:billy.drennan@tx.usda.gov) for more information.

March 1, 2006

1:00 p.m., King County Community Center, Guthrie, TX

 

 

Upper Beaver Watershed

Contact David Guest, District Conservationist, at (806) 244-2782 or by email (mailto:david.guest@tx.usda.gov) for more information.

February 13, 2006

6:00 p.m., Cimarron County Fairgrounds, Boise City, OK

February 16, 2006

9:30 a.m., Eva Community Center, Eva, OK (14 miles south of Elkhart Hwy 95)

February 23, 2006

9:30 a.m., Texhoma Community Center , Texhoma, OK

March 2, 2006

2:00 p.m., Texas County Activity Center, Guymon, OK

 

    These sessions will allow producers tolearn if they meet the necessary eligibility requirements. They will begin theapplication process by filling out a self-assessment booklet and a benchmarkinventory to determine basic qualifications for CSP. The assessment workbooksare available in hard copy at the NRCS county field offices and electronicallyat http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/.

      All CSP applications thatmeet the sign-up criteria will be placed in an enrollment category andconsidered regardless of available funding.

      For more information aboutCSP in your watershed please contact the local NRCS office in USDA ServiceCenter. Additional information on CSP and a map showing the location of theselected watersheds is on the NRCS Texas Web Site at http://www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp.