May 9 House Ag Committee Hearing
Participants Include Two From High Plains

Friday, May5, 2006                                   By Shawn Wade

      Two High Plainscotton producers have been invited to present testimony to members of the HouseCommittee on Agriculture May 9 in San Angelo.

      Al Spinks, ofMidland, and Rickey Bearden, of Plains, were two of the eleven people invitedto present testimony on the 2007 Farm Bill and offer suggestions directly tomembers of the House Agriculture Committee.

      Bearden's farmingoperation falls within the boundaries of the 19th CongressionalDistrict served by Congressman Randy Neugebauer of Lubbock. Neugebauer hasserved as a member of the Agriculture Committee since his election in 2003.

      Spinks' operationis located in Texas' 11th Congressional District, which isrepresented on the Ag Committee by Congressman Mike Conaway of Midland.

      Angelo StateUniversity's C.J. Davidson Conference Center will be the location for what mayprove to be the one and only hearing regarding the 2007 Farm Bill to beconducted by the House Agriculture Committee in Texas. A map of the AngeloState University campus is available on the internet at:
http://www.angelo.edu/publications/map/campus%20map.pdf

      The hearing, setto begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 11:30 a.m., will follow the formatestablished by the Committee at similar events held earlier in the year. Timeconstraints dictate that only invited testimony will be heard during thehearing to allow Committee members adequate time to ask questions of the witnessesduring the proceedings.

      It is anticipatedthat as many as thirteen members of the Agriculture Committee will be inattendance at the San Angelo hearing.

      The public isencouraged to attend the hearing. Individuals are also encouraged to submitcomments in written form to the Committee. Written testimony, which will becomepart of the official record of the hearing, will be accepted for 30 daysafterward. Written comments can be submitted through the House AgricultureCommittee website located at:
(http://agriculture.house.gov).

      The followingwitnesses were invited to present testimony to the Committee May 9.

Panel I: Mr. Al Spinks - Cotton Producer,Midland, Texas; Mr. Jack Norman - Wheat, Corn, Soybean, Hay and CattleProducer, Howe, Texas; Mr. Ricky Bearden - Cotton, Peanut, Sorghum and WheatProducer, Plains, Texas; Mr. Dee Vaughan - Corn, Cotton, Wheat, Soybean andSeed Sorghum Producer, Dumas, Texas; Mr. Dale Artho - Sorghum, Wheat and CottonProducer, Stocker, Wildorado, Texas; Mr. Daniel Berglund - Rice Producer,Wharton, Texas; Mr. J.C. "James" Overstreet - Peanut Producer, Dilley, Texas.

Panel II: Mr. Dale Smith - Cow-Calf Producer,Stocker and Feeder, Amarillo, Texas; Mr. Glen Fisher - Sheep, Meat Goat andCattle Producer, Sonora, Texas; Mr. Brian Boehning - Dairy Producer, Muleshoe,Texas; Mr. Dale Murden - Sugar Cane, Cotton, Grain Sorghum, Corn, Citrus andVegetable Producer, Monte Alto, Texas.

 

RMA Allows Insurance Providers To Extend
Production Report Deadline To May 26

Friday, May5, 2006                                   By Shawn Wade

      Recognizing the extenuatingcircumstances that have surrounded the 2005 harvest and ginning season, theUSDA Risk Management Agency has announced an extension for Texas cottonproducers unable to timely provide necessary documentation of 2005 productionby May 1. The extension moves the production reporting date for Texas producersto May 26, 2006.

      RMA notes that the extensionis being allowed due to delays caused by an extended ginning season and thepotential for additional delays caused by producers needing supplementary datato establish production levels for modules lost due to wildfire.

      Producers should contacttheir federal crop insurance provider for additional information.

 

Seven More High Plains Cotton Seed Providers
Add Seed Drought Relief Programs For 2006

Friday, May5, 2006                                   By Shawn Wade

      With dry conditions alooming threat going into the 2006 growing season, High Plains cotton producerswho plant cotton seed from All-Tex Seed, Americot, Beltwide Cotton Genetics,Croplan Genetics, Delta & Pine Land, Dyna-Gro and FiberMax/AFD Cotton Seedwill have a little extra protection in their pockets thanks to the addition ofSeed Drought Relief Programs over the course of the past few weeks.

      While the basic structures ofthe new programs are all essentially the same, producers should be aware thatthere are some differences in the individual company offerings.

      Copies of company providedinformation sheets outlining covered varieties, specific eligibility requirements,deadlines and claim procedures are available for viewing or download from thePlains Cotton Growers website (http://www.plainscotton.org). For help with specific questionsgrowers are advised to contact their cottonseed distributor or appropriate seedcompany representatives.

      In a nutshell, the newprograms are set up to allow growers to apply for a rebate of all or part ofthe cost of a growers 2006 planting seed if their final production on a farmfalls below 150 pounds per land acre due to drought. Causes of loss other thatdrought will not be covered by any of the currently announced Drought Reliefprograms.

      Inall of the newly announced programs growers will have until January 15, 2007 toapply for claims under the applicable company's Seed Drought Relief program.

      According toconversations with representatives from each of the companies, cotton crops areconsidered a loss if the actual or estimated lint yield is less than 150 poundsper land acre, verified by either production evidence or a Federal CropInsurance claim that includes an estimated yield of less than 150 pounds perland acre.

      The All-Tex Seed, Americot,Beltwide Cotton Genetics, Croplan Genetics, Delta & Pine Land, Dyna-Gro andFiberMax/AFD Cotton Seed programs are based on the Trait and Seed DroughtRelief programs announced by Monsanto Corporation in early April.

      Like the Monsanto programs,the Seed Drought relief programs offered by All-Tex Seed, Americot, BeltwideCotton Genetics, Croplan Genetics, Delta & Pine Land, Dyna-Gro andFiberMax/AFD Cotton Seed utilize a 150-pound per land acre threshold to triggerrebates to eligible growers

      It appears that the All-Tex Seed, Americot, BeltwideCotton Genetics, Croplan Genetics, Delta& Pine Land, Dyna-Gro andFiberMax/AFD Cotton Seed programs are also being offered in the same geographicregion as the Monsanto programs.

      The Monsanto Trait and SeedDrought relief program's are supplemental to the company's previously announcedCrop Destruct and Replant risk sharing programs for West Texas, Kansas,Oklahoma and New Mexico.

      TheMonsanto Trait Relief program applies to any variety that contains Monsantotechnology traits. The Monsanto Seed Drought Relief Program applies toStoneville and NexGen brand cottonseed varieties.

 

2005-crop Upland Cotton Average Price
Received by Growers Through March 2006

Friday, May 5, 2006                                   By Shawn Wade

      According toinformation released April 28 by the USDA National Agricultural StatisticsService Upland cotton marketed during the month of March totaled 1.169 millionbales with an average price received by growers of 50.4 cents per pound.

      Based on thesenumbers the 2005 Upland Cotton Weighted Average Price calculated throughFebruary 2006 stands at 47.78 cents per pound.

      March marketingswere practically even with the number of bales marketed during the month ofFebruary, and were relatively strong. March's numbers pushed the cumulativemarketings for the year to 12.5 million bales. The preliminary mid-month pricereported for April 2006 was 54.3 cents per pound.

      This is good newsfor cotton producers. The bulk of the year's marketings have now been reportedand it appears that 2005 Counter-cyclical payments will indeed be the maximum13.73-cent payment rate allowed by current program rules.

      So far thecalculated 2005 Weighted Average Price is still 4.22 cents below the 52-centthreshold where Counter-cyclical payment rates begin to decline.

      The 2005Counter-cyclical payment rate authorized under the 2002 Farm Bill will be basedon the 12-month Weighted Average Price Received by growers. For cotton the12-month Weighted Average Price will reflect price and marketings for the 2005marketing year. The 2005 cotton marketing year began on August 1, 2005 and endsJuly 31, 2006.

      The followingtable shows the average price received each month by farmers and the calculatedweighted average price based on estimated cumulative marketings and pricesreported by the National Ag Statistics Service through March 2006.

 

Monthly Average Price Receivedfor

2005-crop Upland Cotton ThroughMarch 2006

(Weighted by Marketings)

 

Marketings

Prices

 

(000's of Running bales)

(cents/Lb.)

 

Monthly

Cum.

Monthly

Weighted

August

1,233

1,233

42.10

42.10

September

518

1,751

44.30

42.75

October

911

2,662

48.50

44.72

November

1,831

4,493

48.50

46.26

December

3,264

7,757

47.90

46.95

January

2,420

10,177

48.60

47.34

February

1,182

11,359

49.00

47.51

March

1,169

12,528

50.40

47.78

April

na

na

54.30*

na 

Source:National Agricultural Statistics Service; * = preliminary