Beltwide Cotton Conferences Put
Focus on Industry's Pending Challenges

Friday, January12, 2007                            By Shawn Wade

      Thelist of challenges facing the cotton industry heading into the 2007 growingseason is significant and the presenters who shared their thoughts about thosechallenges with the more than 2,300 growers and industry leaders that gatheredin New Orleans for the 2007 Beltwide Cotton Conference spoke to a highlyattentive audience.

      Openingday speakers at the Beltwide's Production Conference discussed the importanceof upcoming federal budget discussions and the need to formulate a soundresponse to the latest challenge put forth by Brazil as two of the many issuesfacing the industry heading into the Farm Bill debate.

      Highlightingthe speaker list was Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns who provided thekeynote address, but confined his comments to general themes that continued tolay the groundwork for what many expect to be a very different view for futureU.S. farm policy.

      Stickingwith the Administration's long-standing position that changes should be made inthe current policy to more readily insure that U.S. farm programs are fullycompatible with WTO trade agreements and also provide a more equitabledistribution of farm program dollars, Johanns reiterated his intention tosubmit a different vision for U.S. agricultural policy.

      Johannsnoted in a press briefing following his address that the Bush Administration ispreparing to release their proposal for future U.S. farm policy around thefirst week of February.

      Thatannouncement is also expected to coincide with release of the Administration'snew budget recommendations for the 2008 fiscal year. One of the initial focusesof the cotton industry before the 2007 Farm Bill debate opens will beestablishment of the budget baseline within which the new Farm Bill will bewritten.

      JoiningJohanns in addressing the Beltwide conferences were National Cotton CouncilChairman Allen Helms and Cotton Incorporated President and Chief Executive OfficerJ. Berrye Worsham. Helms' remarks focused on the legislative, trade andregulatory challenges facing the cotton industry.

      Worshamdiscussed the issue of sustainability and the efforts of Cotton Incorporated tominimize issues that could become obstacles to future growth. He noted that theissue of sustainability in cotton production involves finding the right balancebetween environmental stewardship and preserving cotton's resource base andaccomplishing those goals in a way that allows cotton to remain an economicallyviable crop.

 

NASS Announces Updated 2006-crop Estimate

Friday, January12, 2007                            By Shawn Wade

      Releaseof the January 2007 Crop Production report from the USDA National AgriculturalStatistics Service shows a slight increase in the fortunes of the 2006 HighPlains cotton crop.

      Basedon the latest figures the High Plains crop is now expected to total 4.16million bales, an increase of 150,000 bales from the December forecast. Texasproduction is now forecast at an even 6 million bales.

      TheHigh Plains cotton production forecast had been holding steady at 4.01 millionbales for the past few months as producers harvested crops and set about theprocess of getting cotton through the gin.

      The Januarychange shouldn't be considered much of a surprise now that virtually all the2006 crop is out of the field and gins have a better handle on how many modulesare still waiting to be processed.

      Nationally,the January report shows All cotton production up 2 percent at 21.7 million balesfrom the previous month. Upland cotton production is estimated to total 20.9million bales.

      Thefollowing table shows the production breakdown for Texas crop reportingdistricts based on the January 2007 NASS production estimate.

Texas Cotton District Estimates 2006 1/

Districts

Planted

Harvested

Yield

Production

1-N

990.0

860.0

871

1,560.0

1-S

2,900.0

1,860.0

671

2,600.0

2-N

410.0

220.0

600

275.0

2-S

550.0

280.0

360

210.0

4

160.0

150.0

448

140.0

7

185.0

90.0

693

130.0

8-N

110.0

60.0

800

100.0

8-S

460.0

180.0

640

240.0

9

240.0

230.0

897

430.0

10-N

60.0

20.0

720

30.0

10-S

260.0

80.0

960

160.0

Other districts

75.0

70.0

857

125.0

STATE

6,400

4,100

702

6,000

1/ Preliminary, January,2007.

2006-crop Cotton Quality Summary

      Thefollowing is a summary of the cotton classed at the Lubbock and Lamesa USDACotton Division Cotton Classing Offices for the 2006 production season.

 

Week Ending January 11, 2007:

 

Office

Bales

Color

Leaf

Staple

Lamesa

50,377

21+ - 67%

31 - 28%

3.04

35.77

Lubbock

162,122

21+ - 52%

31 - 37%

3.13

35.82

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

3.87

28.83

80.54

25.6%

Lubbock

3.65

28.55

80.62

38.6%

 

Season Totals To Date:

 

Office

Bales

Color

Leaf

Staple

Lamesa

753,387

21+ - 65%

31 - 30%

2.99

35.98

Lubbock

2,729,647

21+ - 54%

31 - 40%

3.13

36.14

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

4.01

29.16

80.68

12.3%

Lubbock

3.8

29.57

81.03

20.9%