Internet Offers Opportunity for Producers To
Submit Comments On 2007 Farm Bill Process

Friday, May 19, 2006                                  By Shawn Wade

      Thanksto the House Committee on Agriculture making sure Legislators tasked withwriting the 2007 Farm Bill have a clear understanding of producer support forextending provisions of the 2002 Farm Bill is as easy as filling in the blanks.

      Lastweek's announcement that the House Agriculture Committee has created a web pageto obtain individual feedback from producers regarding future farm policyprovides growers the opportunity to add their voices to the debate and magnifythe number of supportive voices legislators hear.

      Growerswishing to submit comments about the 2007 Farm Bill directly to the HouseAgriculture Committee can do so through the House Committee on Agriculture'sweb page located at: http://agriculture.house.gov/inside/feedbackform.html

      Copiesof testimony submitted by Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. (PCG) Board members tothe HAC during the May 9 Farm Bill hearing in San Angelo are available on thePCG website (http://www.plainscotton.org/AgCmteMay9.html)to assist growers indeveloping their own comments.

      Submittingcomments is as easy as sending an email and PCG encourages growers to voicetheir support of current farm bill provisions and to encourage their neighborsto also take advantage of the opportunity to make their opinions known.

      PCGExecutive Vice President Steve Verett notes that individual producer commentsare especially important. "In politics numbers are important," says Verett. "Whenit comes to influencing the direction of the next Farm Bill it is critical thatCongress understands how strongly producers support the program that we havetoday."

      Takingadvantage of every opportunity to let Congress know first-hand what producersneed will amplify the messages that are being sent through their representativeorganizations.

      "The2007 Farm Bill will be developed in an entirely different environment than whatexisted when the current farm program was put together," concludes Verett. "Inorder to maintain the effective farm safety net that we have today, it iscritical that producers let their voices be heard."

      Inthe end every comment High Plains cotton producers put in will reinforce themessages delivered to the Agriculture Committee by PCG and other industryorganizations.

 

Ark. Senator Sets Up Online PetitionTo Document
Support For Senate Disaster Plan

Friday, May 19, 2006                                  By Shawn Wade

      Marshalingagriculture's forces is the goal of Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln and otherfarm belt Senators with a newly posted, online petition designed to demonstratethe broad support that exists for the Senate's 2005 disaster assistanceprovisions.

      Thepetition urges President Bush to withdraw his veto threat of the supplementalappropriations package that includes the agriculture disaster provisions andalso urges House Speaker Dennis Hastert to support inclusion of disaster reliefas the supplemental appropriations bill moves into conference committee.

      Thecotton industry continues to support the Senate disaster provisions and theiremergency spending designation that does not require budgetary offsets.

      Growerswishing to add their name to the list in support of the 2005 Disaster Assistancebill or who just want to get additional information can visit Senator Lincoln'swebsite at: http://www.lincoln.senate.gov/

 

New Sponsor Allows P.I.E. Program ToContinue
Bringing Cotton Producers Together

Friday, May 19, 2006                                  By Shawn Wade

      BayerCropScience has agreed to be the new corporate sponsor for the CottonFoundation's highly successful Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) program.

      Bayer'ssupport breathes new life into the program, which is designed to bring cottonproducers from across the Cotton Belt together to see how their counterparts inother growing regions farm cotton.

      Following the four scheduled 2006 P.I.E. tours, theprogram will have exposed nearly 750 U.S. cotton producers to innovative cottonproduction practices in regions different than their own.

      Tourdates and locations for the 2006 CottonFoundation Producer Information Exchange (P.I.E.) Program have been finalizedand were released by the Cotton Foundation and the National Cotton Councilearlier this week.

      In2006 P.I.E. tours will send cottonproducers from the Southeast to visit Arizona and California July 9-14;Mid-South producers will travel to Texas July 16-21; Southwest producers willtour Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee August 6-11; and Far West producerswill visit North Carolina and Virginia August 13-18.

      Participantsin the 18-year old P.I.E. program gain new perspectives in land preparation,planting, fertilization, pest control, irrigation and harvesting - with theoverall goal of helping them improve their yields and fiber quality.

      TheNCC's Member Services staff, in conjunction with local producer associations,conducts the P.I.E program, including participant selection. The P.I.E. alsoreceives support from the Foundation via a grant from the program's newsponsor, Bayer CropScience.

      "Weare really excited to support this unique educational opportunity for America'scotton producers," said Monty Christian, marketing director, FiberMaxCotton Seed, Bayer CropScience. "Being able to ask questions face-to-facewith your peers about innovative farming techniques is an invaluableexperience."

 

FSA Reminder: 2006 DCP Sign-Up EndsJune 1

Friday, May 19, 2006                                  By Shawn Wade

      FarmService Agency Administrator Teresa Lasseter wants to remind agriculturalproducers that they have until June 1, 2006, to sign up for the 2006-cropDirect and Counter-cyclical Payment Program (DCP).

      Lasseterencourages eligible growers who haven't already done so to sign up for the 2006DCP by June 1 by visiting a USDA Farm Service Agency office or by using FSA'sconvenient online DCP service. Producers may sign up online for DCP at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/egov/edcp_default.htm

      Producersmust have an active USDA eAuthentication Level 2 account to use the onlineservice. Getting an account requires filling out the online USDAeAuthentication registration form at: http://www.eauth.egov.usda.govandthen visiting their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office for identityverification.

      Theonline service allows producers to choose 2006 DCP payment options, assign cropshares, as well as sign and submit their contracts over the Internet.

      Moreinformation on the DCP is available at local FSA offices and in the DCP factsheet posted online at:
http://www.fsa.usda.gov/pas/publications/facts/html/dcp06.htm

      USDAwill accept late-filed DCP applications through Sept. 30, 2006, if accompaniedby a $100 late fee. Producers will be unable to apply for 2006 DCP paymentsafter Sept. 30, 2006. Sign-up for the 2006 DCP began October 1, 2005.

      The2002 Farm Bill requires that producers sign annual contracts through 2007 toparticipate in DCP. Producers may choose not to participate in DCP in any year.USDA has issued more than $28 billion in DCP payments to producers since theprogram began in October 2002.

 

NCC Leadership Program ApplicantsSought

      TheNational Cotton Council is currently seeking applicants for the 2006-07 CottonLeadership Program. Qualified candidates for the program are encouraged tovisit the program's web site, http://leadership.cotton.org, to review program criteria and download applicationinformation.

      Applicationforms and required materials must be postmarked no later than June 16, 2006.The 2006 NCC Leadership Class will begin sessions in late September. Sessionswill be held approximately every other month concluding with graduation inAugust 2007.

      Theprogram is an educational project of The Cotton Foundation, sponsored through agrant from DuPont Crop Protection. Since its inception in 1983, over 200program alumni have utilized the skills and knowledge gained from theirparticipation to represent the cotton industry at state, regional, national andinternational levels.

      Eligiblecandidates must derive their primary livelihood from one of the U.S. cottonindustry's seven segments and be between the ages of 27 and 47 on or beforeJuly 1, 2006. Participants must also agree to attend all sessions and completeall required reports and evaluations in a timely manner.

      Throughthe program participants gain a thorough understanding of all industrysegments, the issues that affect cotton's economic well being, the legislativeprocess and the role of the National Cotton Council.

      Theyare also given opportunities to interact with the cotton industry's mostinfluential leaders and receive specialized training in public speaking, mediarelations and business etiquette.

 

High Plains CropPest Scouting Workshop

      Anexcellent speaker line-up awaits producers on Thursday, June 1, 2006 during the2006 High Plains Crop Pest Scouting Workshop. The annual workshop will be heldat the Ollie Liner Center in Plainview and begins at 8:00 a.m.

      Thescouting workshop is designed to train individuals interested in increasingtheir knowledge of area crop pests. Workshop presenters will cover cotton, cornand sorghum pests.

      Thereis no fee to attend the program and questions about the program, location orother details can be directed to the Hale County Extension office at (806)291-5274.

      Workshopparticipants with a private, commercial or non-commercial pesticide licensewill also be able to receive a total of 5 CEU's (1-Laws and Regulations and4-IPM) from the Texas Department of Agriculture for attending.

      Themorning program will be devoted to cotton topics with a presentation on workerprotection training prior to lunch. Presenters for the morning program are: Dr.Randy Boman, Extension Agronomist – Cotton; Scott Russell, ExtensionAgent – IPM; Brant Baugh, Extension Agent – IPM; Monti Vandiver,Extension Agent – IPM; and James Esty, Texas Department of Agriculture.

      Thoseinterested in obtaining a pesticide handlers card (EPA green card) can attendjust the worker protection standards portion of the program (11:00 a.m. toNoon). Once issued pesticide handler cards are valid for a five-year period.

      Afterlunch the program will cover other commodities, plus recognition of herbicidedamage, weed identification and plant diseases of cotton, corn and sorghum.Presenters for the afternoon program are: Dr. Peter Dotray, Extension WeedScientist; Dr. Pat Porter, Extension Entomologist, Greg Cronholm, ExtensionAgent – IPM and Dr. Terry Wheeler, Plant Pathologist for the TexasAgricultural Experiment Station, Lubbock.

 

High Plains Crop Pest Scouting Workshop

Ollie Liner Center

South Business Hwy 27

Plainview, TX

Thursday, June 1, 2006