Area Congressmen Working To Schedule
Nearby House Farm Bill Hearing

Friday, March 10, 2006                              By Shawn Wade

      Membersof the House Agriculture Committee have hit the road in recent weeks to gatherthe thoughts of America's farmers and ranchers regarding development of the2007 Farm Bill.

      HighPlains congressmen Mike Conaway and Randy Neugebauer have both indicated inrecent days that each is actively working to bring at least one such meeting ofthe House Agriculture Committee to the West Texas region.

      Wheresuch a gathering would ultimately occur is anybody's guess. What isn't so hardto figure out is how much interest a hearing would generate among High Plainscotton producers and agricultural business people.

      Whenformer Ag Committee Chairman Larry Combest and Ranking Member Charlie Stenholmscheduled a similar hearing in Lubbock regarding the 2002 Farm Bill, betterthan 400 area farmers and agricultural leaders were in attendance to hear whatcommodity representatives that submitted testimony had to say on their behalf.

      Asimilar crowd will likely greet members of the current House AgricultureCommittee should they visit the area at the invitation of CongressmenNeugebauer and Conaway.

      Itis heartening to High Plains cotton producers to know that such effortcontinues to be exerted by their representatives to ensure that the area'sviews get the opportunity to be presented.

      Anotherlikely participant at a West Texas farm bill hearing will be AmarilloCongressman Mac Thornberry. Thornberry, who has filed legislation to extend thecurrent farm bill, is not a member of the House Agriculture Committee, but hasa significant interest in Ag policy issues. He made a point of attending thelast Ag Committee hearing in Lubbock during development of the 2002 Farm Bill.

      Overthe course of the first four Ag Committee hearings regarding the 2007 FarmBill, a strong level of support for the provisions of the 2002 Farm Bill hasbeen an overriding theme.

      FromCalifornia to North Carolina, participants have testified to the effectivenessof the 2002 Farm Bill and praised the ability of the current program to providea "safety net" for producers. Strong support was also expressed for carryingforward a fully accessible marketing loan program and the Direct and Counter-cyclicalPayment (DCP) program as the foundation for future U.S. farm policy.

      Otherissues that have been addressed include international trade, conservationprograms and the budgetary challenge that exists for the crafters of the nextgeneration of farm programs.

      Highlightingthese issues were numerous comments addressing the need for U.S. farm policy toremain consistent and predictable.

      Concernswere also expressed about the World Trade Organization's Doha negotiationprocess. Several participants expressed support for the continuation of thecurrent legislation until the WTO Doha round is concluded and a clearunderstanding of what can and cannot be done within that framework is known.

      Onthe conservation side of the program the importance of beneficial programs suchas the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Conservation ReserveProgram and the Conservation Security Program were also noted.


TASS WorkingTo Gather Final 2005 Upland
Cotton Production Numbers

Friday, March 10, 2005                              By Shawn Wade

      Statisticians with the TexasAgricultural Statistics Service are working to gather cotton ginnings data forinclusion in the Final Cotton Ginnings Report for the 2005 crop year and thefinal 2005 Upland Cotton Production Report.

      Complicating this effort forthe second year in a row is the extended nature of the ginning season in theHigh Plains and Rolling Plains production regions.

      For the second straight yearthese areas have produced above average yields and stretched the ginning seasonbeyond historical norms for many operations. TASS representatives ask that ginsthat are still operating please continue to send in their data so that thefullest possible tally can be pulled together.

      When submitting final ginningdata, gins are encouraged to be as accurate as possible and specify the numberof bales ginned as well as the county and state in which the bales wereoriginally produced.

      These final reports are usedfor much more than just totaling the amount of cotton ginned in Texas countieseach year. The information provided by gins to TASS is also used to determineand verify county level cotton production each year.

      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 from gins and producers.

Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

49th Annual Meeting


Friday, April 7, 2006

Lubbock Memorial Civic CenterBanquet Hall

Registration - 8:30 a.m. Program Start -9:00 a.m.


Featured Speakers:

John Maguire

National Cotton Council, Washington,DC

J. Berrye Worsham III

Cotton Incorporated, Cary, NC


From The Archives

PCG News and History

News andevents from the month of March

1998- Producers and High Plains cottonindustry officials met with representatives of Cone Mills, one of the largestdomestic buyers of West Texas cotton, to discuss the availability of cotton inthe future under the Freedom to Farm Act.

1988- PCG coordinates the delivery ofalmost 300 letters from farm groups, political entities, businesses andindividuals in pursuit of help for High Plains farmers whose 1987 crops weredestroyed or damaged by weather during the 1987-growing season.

1978- Officials from Plains CottonGrowers, Inc., were back in Washington the opening days of March, continuingtheir effort to get better price protection for cotton producers under the 1978farm program. The High Plains producer organization was urging Congress toamend the Farm Act of 1977 to permit higher loan rates and target prices on1978 through 1981 crops.

1968- Representatives from six Texascotton organizations came together February 2, 1968 to launch an all Texascoalition called the Texas Association of Cotton Producer Organizations(TACPO). In its current form TACPO is known as Texas Cotton Producers, Inc. Illustrating PCG's influence in forming this all Texas group were the electionof PCG representative Joe B. Pate, Jr. of Lubbock as the groups first Chairmanand PCG Executive Vice President Donald A. Johnson as TACPO's firstSecretary-Treasurer.

1958- PCG Executive Vice PresidentGeorge Pfieffenberger reported to the PCG Board that considerable data had beencollected on light spotted cotton, and that Congressman George Mahon and othershad agreed to bring this subject to the attention of the House AgricultureCommittee. PCG's goals were to have light spotted cotton quoted in the official14 cotton markets and to establish a loan base for the light spots.