Plains Ginners Assoc. Annual Meeting
To Focus On Bale Moisture Issues

Friday, August 18, 2006                          By Shawn Wade

      Focusing on a topic that isgarnering a lot of attention within the U.S. cotton industry, the PlainsGinners Association plans to emphasize the important role gins play inmaintaining the region's reputation for high quality and dependability duringthe organization's 2006 Annual Meeting.

      The Plains Ginners meetingwill be held Tuesday, August 29 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Cagle Steaks inLubbock.

      Specifically, Plains Ginnersofficials will focus their attention on the practice of adding moisture tocotton prior to baling and the responsibility that ginners have to theirproducer customers to ensure it is done responsibly.

      Scheduled speakers includePlains Cotton Growers, Inc. President Mike Hughes, Dr. Jeff Johnson, Texas TechUniversity CASNR Agricultural Economics; Dr. Jackie Smith, TCE Economist; andCraig Brown, Vice President of Producer Relations for the National CottonCouncil of America.

      The main agenda item,however, will be a panel and discussion session on bale packaging focusedprimarily on the moisture issue that will include views from a cross section ofthe cotton industry.

      Scheduledpanel participants include: Dr. Bill Norman, Executive Vice President of theNational Cotton Ginners Association; Manfred Schiefer, President of theAmerican Cotton Shippers Association; Dr. S.E. (Ed) Hughes, Research Leader, S.W. Cotton Ginners Research Lab, Mesilla Park, NM; Darryl W. Earnest, DeputyAdministrator, USDA, AMS Cotton Program, Washington, DC; Bill Brown, InmanMills, Inman, SC; and Barry Evans, Vice President of Plains Cotton Growers,Inc., of Kress, Texas.


HB 3 Revises Texas Franchise Tax Rules

Friday, August 18, 2006                          By Shawn Wade

      Ever since the TexasLegislature passed House Bill (HB) 3, the question on the minds of many Texasbusiness owners has been how the changes would affect their operations. Thegood news about the changes is that there appears to be plenty of time foreveryone to find out how the new rules will affect them.

      It turns out that, while thenew state franchise tax rules will impact a significantly broader array ofTexas businesses, there is plenty of time for everyone to find out exactlywhere they fit into the new tax code. Changes approved in HB 3 will go intoeffect for franchise tax reports originally due on or after January 1, 2008.

     Many of the regulations to implement the new rules are still being developedand the Texas Comptroller's Office has set up an online questionnaire designedto allow Texas business owners an opportunity to express their thoughts abouthow the tax code will be implemented. The survey can be accessed at:

      HB 3 amends Texas Tax CodeChapter 171 by changing the tax base, lowering the rate and extending coverageto active businesses receiving state law liability protection.

      The revised tax will apply topartnerships (general, limited and limited liability), corporations, limitedliability companies, business trusts, professional associations, businessassociations, joint ventures and other legal entities with statutory liabilityprotection.

      Businesses exempt from therevised tax include: sole proprietorships; general partnerships directly ownedby natural persons; entities exempt under Subchapter B of Chapter 171; certainunincorporated passive entities; grantor trusts, estates of natural persons andescrows; passive investment partnerships; certain family partnerships; realestate mortgage investment conduits (REMICs) and certain real estate investmenttrusts (REITs); and certain non-business passive entities.

      The revised franchise taxwill be calculated based on the tax base of the entity which is defined by thestatute as the entitles "Margin." The taxable margin will be the LESSER ofthree calculations: total revenue minus cost of goods sold; total revenue minuscompensation; or total revenue times 70 percent.

      Total revenue used to figurethe taxable margin of an entity is determined based on federal income taxreporting. The "Cost of Goods Sold" is traditionally defined by the statute,but excludes officer compensation and includes some specific items for certainindustries and up to 4 percent of overhead costs.

      Taxable entities only sellingservices are not eligible for the cost of goods sold deduction. Motor vehicleand heavy construction equipment rental or leasing entities may use cost ofgoods sold.

      Compensation and benefitsthat can be used in the calculation include: W-2 wages and cash compensationpaid to officers, directors, owners, partners and employees (including owner orpartner distributions to natural persons), limited to $300,000 per person; andbenefits provided to all personnel, including workers' compensation, healthcare and retirement benefits to the extent deductible for federal income taxpurposes.

      The new tax rate is 0.5percent for entities primarily engaged in retail and wholesale trades as wellas those businesses under Major group 58 of the 1987 SIC code (eating anddrinking establishments). The rate is 1 percent for all other taxable entities.

      Under the new rules entitieswith revenues of $300,000 or less will owe no tax. Taxable entities with taxdue of less than $1,000 will owe no tax as well. All taxable entities,including those that will owe no tax, must file a tax return.

      With almost 18 months beforethe new tax structure takes effect there is plenty of time to determine exactlyhow the new rules will impact individual operations.

      For additional informationabout the new rules, Texas business owners are encouraged to email theirquestions to the State Comptrollers office at:


TBWEF Assessment Notices To Arrive Soon

Friday, August 18, 2006

      Boll weevil eradicationassessment notices were recently mailed to cotton producers in the sixeradication zones across Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.'s 41-county area.

      The assessments are based oninformation cotton producers provide the Farm Service Agency when they certifytheir crops. If growers find an error in the information on their billing, theywill need to correct the information at their local FSA office and forward the correctedinformation to the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation.

      Payment is due September 29,but a 2 percent discount is available to growers who pay the full assessment bySeptember 14.

      In two of the High Plainszones, Northwest Plains and Northern High Plains, growers with failed acres areeligible to receive a credit on those acres destroyed and not harvested. In theother four zones, Panhandle; Permian Basin; Southern High Plains; and WesternHigh Plains, growers who failed acreage prior to the final certification dateof July 12 are eligible to receive a credit on those acres destroyed. Producersmust certify failed acres with FSA and provide documentation to the foundation.

      To aid growers who have beenaffected by adverse weather conditions, the TBWEF is offering payment extensionagreements for producers whose accounts are current.

      "For those havingdifficulty paying their assessment, help is available by contacting theassessments department and arranging an extension agreement," said ChiefFinancial Officer Tina Ballard.

      Producers entering into anextension agreement must make a 10 percent down payment, and they will becharged a late fee of 1 percent per month until their accounts are paid. Thislate fee begins on the date the signed agreement and down payment are receivedby the Assessments Department. Producers who are delinquent in payment and whodo not have an extension agreement are subject to a late fee of 1.5 percent permonth.

      Producers with extensionagreements have 150 days to pay their accounts.

      Formore information contact the Foundation's Assessments Department in Abilene at(866) 672-2800.


NRCS To Hold 2007 EQIP PDG/LWG Meetings

      Texas Soil and WaterConservation Districts invite the public, and any agencies with interest, toparticipate in the agency's 2007 Program Development Group (PDG) meetings.

      PDG meetings are led by thelocal Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in partnership withUSDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Each county in Texas holdsthe public meetings annually and meeting information will soon be posted on theTexas NRCS website ( A partial list of PDG meetingsalready scheduled is listed below.

      Thepurpose of the PDG is to provide members of the community a forum forsubmitting recommendations on local issues and county based funding that can beaddressed through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

August EQIP PDG Meeting
Dates, Times and Locations







9:00 AM

Amarillo College, Moore County Campus, Amarillo, TX



9:00 AM

Amarillo Extension Center, 6500 Amarillo Blvd West, Amarillo, TX



1:30 PM

Windmill Ranch Preserve, 9180 W. US Hwy 180, Snyder, TX



9:00 AM

EMS Bldg., 3rd St., Bovina, TX



1:30 PM

Windmill Ranch Preserve, 9180 W. US Hwy 180, Snyder, TX



9:00 AM

Swisher Co. Courthouse Annex, 310 SW St. Tulia, TX



9:00 AM

Plains Community Center, 1006 Ave G. Plains, TX



8:00 AM

USDA Service Center, 221 Euclid St, Panhandle, TX



9:00 AM

NRCS Service Center, 200 A West Taylor, Morton, TX



7:00 PM

Ralls Community Room, Ralls, TX



9:00 AM

Extension Service Center, 209 South 5th St, Brownfield, TX



8:00 AM

Five Area Telephone Coop. Room, 302, Uvalde St, Muleshoe, TX



2:00 PM

Roby Community Center, Roby, TX


High Plains Event Calendar

           The table below contains a partial listing of the events already scheduled.Growers interested in attending any of the Texas Cooperative Extension eventsshould contact the appropriate TCE County office to request additional details.

      Formore information about the industry Field Days listed below contact your localsales representative or dealer. Additional details will be included in "CottonNews" as they become available.

2006 Extension Crop Tours &
Cotton IndustryEvent Schedule



Dawson/Lubbock Crop Tour

August 29

Parmer/Bailey Crop tour

August 30

Sandyland Ag Tour

August 31

Yoakum County Crop Tour

September 12

Floyd County Crop Tour

September 19

Lynn County Ag Tour

September 20

Mitchell County Ag Tour

September 21

Crosby County Crop Tour

September 29-



Industry Events:


Deltapine Field Day

September 7

West Texas Ag Chemicals Institute Annual Meeting

September 13

FiberMax Field Day

September 21

Stoneville/Monsanto Field Day

September 26





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