Friday, March 9, 2007                                By Shawn Wade

      The schedule for the PlainsCotton Growers 50th Annual Meeting was enhanced this week withconfirmation that Congressman Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), Ranking Member of theHouse Agriculture Committee's General Farm Commodities and Risk ManagementSubcommittee, will present the keynote address at the organization's membershipmeeting April 13.

      The PCG Annual Meeting isbeing held in conjunction with the Texas Cotton Ginners Annual Meeting andTrade Show, April 12-13, at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. PCG's meeting isset to begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. in the Lubbock Memorial CivicCenter Banquet Hall.

      "We are excited to have thecommitment of Rep. Jerry Moran to present this year's keynote address to thePCG membership," says PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett.    Verettadded that PCG's goal for this year's meeting is to provide an in-depth view ofissues involved in writing the 2007 Farm Bill. He said that accomplishing thatgoal meant a short list of possible participants that included only Rep. CollinPeterson, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and Rep. Moran, theRanking Member of the General Farm Commodities and Risk ManagementSubcommittee.

      Verett notes that theorganization is honored to have Rep. Moran to head this year's agenda based onhis past chairmanship of the General Farm Commodities and Risk Managementsubcommittee and his thorough knowledge of the issues that will shape this year'sFarm Bill debate. Chairman Peterson was unable to participate in the PCGmeeting due to other commitments.

      As previously reported, twoother speakers have also been confirmed for the PCG meeting, both of whom willbe intimately involved in the Farm Bill development process although in verydifferent ways.

      Previously acceptinginvitations to address the PCG membership are Washington-based farm policyanalyst James R. Wiesemeyer and former Lubbock area Congressman Larry Combest.

      Wiesemeyer, who has coveredfarm policy in Washington, DC for more than twenty years is Vice President,Washington Bureau, for Informa Economics and writes the "Inside Washington"column for Agweb's Pro Farmer newsletter.

      Wiesemeyer's high-energy deliveryand incredible insight into the politics and personalities that will ultimatelyshape the 2007 Farm Bill debate are expected to be an excellent compliment tothe presentations of Rep. Moran and Combest.

      Former Congressman Combesthas been asked to discuss the creation of the Southwest Council of Agribusiness(SWCA) as well as share his views on the status of the SWCA effort to seek anextension of the provisions of the 2002 Farm Bill. Combest, and his co-workersin Combest Sell & Associates, are representing the SWCA during the 2007Farm Bill debate.

      Combest Sell & Associatesis a consulting firm dedicated to promoting sound U.S. farm policy thatmaintains and grows economic opportunity and jobs in rural America by keepingAmerica's farmers and ranchers strong and competitive.



Friday, March 9, 2007                          By Shawn Wade

      Democratic leaders in theHouse of Representatives formally announced plans for a Crop Disaster Programto be included as part of the pending Iraq war supplemental appropriations billthat will be considered later this month.

      The House proposal wouldcover the 2005, 2006 and the early part of the 2007 growing seasons (to includerecent citrus losses) and provide growers the option to receive benefits forlosses incurred in one of those three years.

      The Democratic plan, whichcarries a $4.3 billion price tag, includes a few new wrinkles but isessentially expected to be a clone of the 2003/2004 disaster program.

      The most striking differencebetween the House proposal and past disaster programs is that programeligibility would be directly tied to whether or not a producer purchased cropinsurance and had coverage in place when disaster struck.

      During the press conferenceannouncing the program, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Petersonnoted that the crop insurance requirement was a "fiscallyresponsible" element and would reflect how future disaster relief will bestructured.

      The only other concrete pieceof information available regarding the House proposal is that the reimbursementrate for eligible losses will be two-thirds of the established price.Additional details of the House proposal, including how payment rates will beestablished, will be passed along as they become available.

      For now, the announcement isanother piece of good news for growers and tangible evidence that Congress ismoving forward with a crop disaster program to offset the devastating effectsof weather during the 2005, 2006 and 2007 growing seasons.



Friday, March 9, 2007                          By Shawn Wade

      Two events this week allowedHigh Plains cotton industry officials to highlight the importance of cotton tothe Lubbock and Texas economies and to express the cotton industry'sappreciation to our Representatives in the U. S. Congress and the TexasLegislature for the support that they provide to agriculture and cotton in theLubbock region.

      The Lubbock Chamber ofCommerce took its message of support for agriculture to Washington, DC earlierthis week during the Chamber's Annual Washington, DC Fly-in March 5-7.Coinciding with the Lubbock Chamber's Fly-in was "Cotton Day at the Capitol 2007"in Austin.

      While in Washington theLubbock Chamber contingent communicated a broad range of issues to TexasCongressional representatives. As has been the case for the past several year'sthe Lubbock Chamber focused a good deal of its attention on agriculture andfarm policy issues.

      A full slate of meetings wereconducted starting with the Chamber's Ag Breakfast March 6. Breakfastparticipants included Representatives Randy Neugebauer, Mike Conaway and HenryCuellar.

      Following the Ag Breakfastthe group participated in a number of briefings and had individual meetingswith Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Senator John Cornyn, Rep. Neugebauer andRep. Conaway to discuss in detail the issues important to the Lubbock areaeconomy.

      Topping the Lubbock Chamber'sagenda was agriculture and extending the fiscally responsible safety netprovisions of the 2002 Farm Bill. The group also urged legislators to work tosecure the additional budget authority necessary to write a good 2007 FarmBill.

      Other issues the Chamberhighlighted during the trip include: Water; Agriculture; Environment;Healthcare; Transportation; Education; Research; Trade; and Immigration.

      At the state level, thecotton industry held its 2007 Cotton Day at the Capitol event March 6 in Austin.Highlighting the issues being communicated to Texas legislators was theimportance of maintaining the highly successful partnership between the Stateand Texas cotton growers in the effort to complete boll weevil eradicationactivities in Texas.

      More than 50 cotton industryrepresentatives walked the halls of the Texas Capitol to talk about theimportance of cotton to the State's economy.



Friday, March 9, 2007                          By Shawn Wade

      Bayer CropScience hasannounced the 2007 Shared Risk Programs for FiberMax and AFD cotton seedvarieties for West Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas.

      The Replant and Crop DestructProgram will cover 100 percent of the grower-suggested price for the firstreplant of FiberMax and AFD cotton seed varieties, including those carrying theLibertyLink technology. The program also allows for re-applications of Temikinsecticide/nematicide, AERIS Seed-Applied System or Gaucho Grande seed-appliedinsecticide in replant situations.

      In addition, the 150 lbDrought Program will provide refunds when the qualifying varieties yield lessthan 150 lbs of lint per land acre. FiberMax and AFD varieties with stackedBollgard II/Roundup Ready Flex, LibertyLink/Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flexwill be eligible for a $50 per bag refund. FiberMax and AFD varieties withLibertyLink, Roundup Ready, Bollgard II/Roundup Ready, Bollgard and Bollgard IIwill be eligible for a $40 per bag refund.

      In addition, FiberMax and AFDvarieties with the LibertyLink Cotton System will be eligible forreimbursements for the technology costs of seed and Ignite 280 herbicideapplications in crop destruction situations. The end date for thiscrop-destruct program is August 31, 2007.

     For refund information on Monsantotechnology fees, growers should contact Monsanto for information regarding the2007 Roundup Rewards Program.

     For complete information on SharedRisk Programs, contact your local Bayer CropScience representative or go toBayer's Cotton Experts website at: http://www.cottonexperts.com