Friday, March 17,2006 By Shawn Wade
In an effort toprevent a significant disruption in cotton shipments, Lubbock-based PlainsCotton Growers, Inc. has sent a letter requesting a 45-day extension of USDA'scurrent waiver for temporary outside storage of 2005 crop cotton entered intothe Commodity Credit Corporation loan program.
The originalwaiver (BCD-117), issued on January 18, allowed CCC loan cotton to be storedoutside on a temporary basis for a maximum of 90 days from the date the cottonentered storage or April 1 whichever occurs first.
Unfortunately,the extended nature of the 2005 ginning season is keeping new cotton movinginto storage and with a slow start on the shipping side of the equation, therapidly approaching April 1 deadline is quickly becoming an albatross aroundthe neck of High Plains producers, merchants and warehousemen.
Without anextension beyond April 1, many warehouse operations would be forced to suspendcotton shipments for a significant length of time in order to shuffle loancotton indoors.
For cottonaffected by the April 1 deadline the extension would allow outside storage tocontinue through May 15.
In his letter PCGExecutive Vice President Steve Verett said the problem facing the industry is two fold: First,adequate inside storage space is not available to move the cotton to, due tofacilities still receiving cotton; and Second, most warehouses are dedicatingthe overwhelming majority of their labor and equipment to fulfill strongshipping orders and meet, and in most cases exceed, current industry shippingstandards.
Friday, March 15,2006 By Roger Haldenby
It's the time ofyear when soil temperatures become of interest to cotton producers across theTexas High Plains as they ready for the planting season.
We're providingsome useful resources again this year, through our web site, to assist growerswith background information that should help them with their plantingdecisions.
Data on soiltemperatures are available from the National Weather Service and its cooperators,the West Texas Mesonet, and the Texas High Plains Evapotranspiration Network.
We'll becollating all the available data on our web page at:
You should beable to find the latest high and low soil temperatures, at either the eightinch or six inch depth, along with the ten day average minimum temperature fora reporting station near your farming operation within PCG's 41-county area.
As of today, 13stations are listed. However, we expect to add a lot more before the end ofMarch.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Following a weekof damaging range fires that have scorched nearly one million acres across theTexas Panhandle, organizations and individuals across the State and the nationare coordinating relief efforts to move much needed animal feed and othersupplies to the region.
The loss of sucha significant amount of rangeland is exacerbated by recent drought conditionsthat have already stretched supplemental feeding capacities nearly to thelimit.
According toTexas officials, since Dec. 26 fires have consumed about 3.7 million acres andnearly 400 homes.
Calls and offersof hay, cotton burrs and other suitable emergency feed have already startedpouring in. The challenge in many of these cases is finding the resourcesneeded to transport the donations to Panhandle staging areas. Staging areashave already been set up in various counties to handle supplies and donations.
People who wantto help or need help can make the following contacts:
¥ Gray-Roberts County Farm Bureau at (806)665-8451 is accepting cash and materials. Ranchers needing items should callthe same number. Donations also can be made through the Texas Farm Bureauoffice at (254) 751-2246, or through http://www.txfb.org.
¥ Texas Cattle Feeders Association iscoordinating a hay donation also. For more information contact Burt Rutherfordat (806) 358-3681.
¥ The Texas Department of Agriculture HayHotline can be accessed at (877) 429-1998 or by going to the Website:
Friday, March 17, 2006
NRCS in Texas is prepared toassist landowners in their efforts to locate the best areas for animal burialthrough soils interpretations information. NRCS is coordinating these effortswith state and local officials.
Landowners will need tocontact the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Industrial andHazardous Waste Permits Section to establish their method of disposal.
Planning for burial ofcatastrophic animal mortality, ranchers will want to take into considerationthe soil properties on their land. This information can be critical where soilsare less desirable and consist of soil types that are too shallow, sandy,gravelly, rocky, and may have the potential to flood or pond.
NRCS can provide soils and aerialmaps to meet landowners' needs. Currently, NRCS has soils maps and dataavailable online and at the local NRCS office in their county. A soilsinterpretations report can be generated by county using the Soil Data Martwebsite: http://soildatamart.nrcs.usda.gov
NRCS officials point out thatonce immediate concerns are considered and handled, ranchers will want to turntheir efforts toward recovery of their rangeland resources. Texas CooperativeExtension has announced seven, Post Fire Range Management educational sessionsto assist ranchers affected by the fires. Meetings will be conducted throughoutthe Panhandle until the end of March. NRCS will be partnering with theUSDA-Farm Service Agency and the Texas Cooperative Extension in an effort toprovide information for post-burn rangeland and pastureland recovery. Meetingsare scheduled in the following locations:
CollingsworthCounty, March 29, 11 a.m., Collingsworth County, 11:00 a.m., Bura Handley CommunityBuilding – Club Room, 10th and Amarillo streets, Wellington.
NRCS, working with the localSoil and Water Conservation Districts, is the federal agency with theresponsibility to encourage owners and managers of private lands to voluntarilyconserve natural resources, including soil, water, and wildlife. For more information, call the USDA-NRCS office in your county, listed underUSDA in the Yellow Pages, or access the information on the Texas NRCS websiteat: http://www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov
News andevents from the month of March :
1960 - During the April 28, 1960 Board of Directors meeting PCG PresidentW.O. Fortenberry recognized then PCG Vice President Wilmer Smith for hisappointment to President Eisenhower's Agricultural Advisory Council. Later inthe meeting a motion from director G.B. Morris of Spur was approved putting PCGon record in support of a program for USDA to move toward instrumentclassification of cotton.