HOUSEAPPROVES AG DISASTER PROVISION;
SENATETO TAKE UP MEASURE

Friday, May 11, 2007                                 By Shawn Wade

      The House of Representativesapproved H.R. 2207, the Agricultural Disaster Assistance and Western StatesEmergency Unfinished Business Appropriations Act of 2007, by a strong 302-120vote late in the evening May 10. The measure includes some $3.5 billion inagriculture disaster assistance to offset losses incurred by growers during the2005, 2006 and early 2007 growing seasons.

      The House action sets thestage for the next phase of the effort to secure a long-awaited disasterassistance package. Another piece of the puzzle that will play a significantrole in the ultimate destiny of the ag assistance package is H.R. 2206, alsoapproved by the House May 10, which provides a portion of the money originallyrequested by the Bush Administration to fund ongoing Iraq War activities.

      The two measures will nowhead to the Senate for consideration and ultimately to a House/SenateConference where any differences will be worked out.

      Prior to Thursday's votes inthe House of Representatives, the White House issued a Statement ofAdministration policy regarding the Ag Disaster Bill (H.R. 2207) thatreiterated its opposition to the legislation. The Administration statement madeit clear that the President views the spending as unnecessary and that it wouldbe vetoed if presented in it current form.

      It is expected that eventhough the House passed H.R. 2207 and H.R. 2206 separately, the two bills mayultimately be rolled together. Most indications are that ultimately somecombination of the two bills will be presented to the President. Before thathappens, however, there are still a few obstacles to overcome.

      Attention now shifts to theSenate, where the Administration has been focusing a good deal of its effortduring the process to develop a compromise funding bill it would support, andafter that to the Conference Committee that will create the final version ofthe legislation.

 

RAINFALLMAKING HIGH PLAINS COTTON
PRODUCERSANXIOUS TO GET PLANTERS ROLLING

Friday, May 11, 2007                                 By Shawn Wade

      Above average rainfall hasbeen a welcome sight for High Plains cotton producers over the past couple ofmonths. Now that virtually every square mile of the world's largest cottonpatch has a full moisture profile the biggest concern for most growers haschanged.

      Of paramount concern now isthe fact that the beneficial rainfall has also kept producers out of the fieldand planters idle. With essentially one-third of the region's optimum plantingwindow come and gone, an equally welcome sight for most growers is a five-dayforecast for clear skies and warm temperatures that will allow planting to getstarted in earnest and keep the crop on schedule.

      USDA reports indicate thatnationwide cotton planting progress is something of a mixed bag. A broad lookat the Cotton Belt shows that nationally cotton plantings are about 4 percentbehind the 5-year average and 1-percent behind last year's pace.

      Narrowing the focus to Texasshows the state is about where it ought to be, right on the 5-year average of26 percent planted through the first week of May. Texas plantings are onlyabout 4 percent behind last year's pace, with the primary culprit for the slowdown being the recent rainfall in the High and Rolling Plains regions.

      High Plains producers areeager to get rolling, but would also admit to being generally pleased with themoisture they have received. Assuming the area doesn't experience anysignificant additional planting delay, the majority of the region should beplanted well before rapidly approaching Federal Crop Insurance plantingdeadlines.

      With only three weeks leftuntil the arrival of the first of those dates, producers in northern sectionsof the High Plains are the most pinched for time. They are also the most likelyto experience an extended planting delay if additional rains force them to waitfor fields to dry out. Heavier soils north of Lubbock tend to take a littlelonger to dry than the sandier country found from Lubbock south.

      Cotton producers in countiesto the north and west of Lubbock are not hitting the panic button yet, but theyare very aware of the limited number of days remaining until their May 31 finalplanting date.

      Cotton growers in the centraland southern portions of the region have Federal Crop Insurance final plantingdates of June 5 and June 10, respectively, which gives them just a little moretime to get their crops planted. Rolling Plains counties east of the Caprockhave June 20 final planting dates for cotton.

      Despite the slight delay ingetting their planters rolling, most growers say that the recent rainfall andassociated planting delay is a good problem to have going into the 2007 growingseason.

      The majority of the HighPlains has already received up to 2/3rds of the region's long-term averageannual precipitation amount. A look at the average monthly precipitationdistribution shows that the bulk of the area's expected 18 inches of annualrainfall typically comes within the growing season during the months of June,July and August.

      If that pattern holds truefor the remainder of the growing season, the early moisture surplus shouldcarry a healthy crop into the summer and provides an excellent opportunity forboth irrigated and non-irrigated producers to achieve good yields and, onirrigated acres to avoid some early season irrigation expense.

 

 

UPLANDCOTTON AVERAGE PRICE
RECEIVEDBY GROWERS THROUGH MARCH 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007                                 By Shawn Wade

      CumulativeUpland cotton marketings through March 2007 total 10.7 million bales accordingto information released April 30 by the USDA National Agricultural StatisticsService.

      Accordingto USDA estimates, March 2007 cotton marketings totaled 1.566 million baleswith an average selling price of 47.4 cents per pound. So far the 2006 UplandCotton Weighted Average Price calculated through March 2007 stands at 47.77cents per pound, slightly below the 47.84 cent weighted average pricecalculated through the first seven months of the marketing year.

      Thefollowing table shows the average price received each month by farmers and theassociated weighted average price based on prices and cumulative marketingsfrom August 1, 2006 through March 31, 2007.

 

Average Price Received For
2006-crop UplandCotton
(Weighted byMarketings)

 

Marketings

Prices

 

(000's of Running bales)

(cents/Lb.)

 

Monthly

Cum.

Monthly

Weighted

August

1,970

1,970

45.80

45.80

September

182

2,152

47.30

45.93

October

994

3,146

46.10

45.98

November

1,117

4,263

47.60

46.41

December

2,062

6,325

49.30

47.35

January

1,557

7,882

49.70

47.81

February

1,253

9,135

48.00

47.84

March

1,566

10,701

47.40

47.77

April

na

na

47.60*

na

Source: National AgriculturalStatistics Service; * = preliminary

 

FINAL2006-CROP UPLAND COTTON
DISTRICTPRODUCTION ESTIMATES RELEASED

Friday, May 11, 2007                                 By Shawn Wade

      TheTexas Agricultural Statistics Service has released its final 2006-crop Upland Cottondistrict level production estimates. Over the next few weeks TASS will completethe process of tabulating County level yield and production data for the 2006crop year. County level figures are expected to be available by early June.

      Finaldistrict numbers for High Plains crop reporting districts 1-N and 1-S, whichcomprise the bulk of the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. 41-county service area,indicate that the area produced 4.1 million bales during the 2006 growingseason. TASS production numbers are reported in statistical 480-pound bales.

      Thetable below includes Texas Upland Cotton production estimates for each cropreporting district in the state.

 

Texas Upland Cotton District Estimates

2005 & 2006 1/

Districts

Planted

Harvested

Yield

Production

 

2005

2006

2005

2006

2005

2006

2005

2006

 

1,000 acres

1,000 acres

Pounds

1,000 bales

1-N

918.0

990.0

779.0

860.0

926

843

1,503.0

1,510.0

1-S

2,785.0

2,900.0

2,646.0

1,860.0

757

668

4,174.0

2,590.0

2-N

413.0

410.0

393.2

220.0

601

480

492.0

220.0

2-S

528.0

550.0

522.9

280.0

544

309

593.0

180.0

4

119.1

160.0

118.8

150.0

604

480

149.5

150.0

7

180.5

185.0

179.1

90.0

702

667

262.0

125.0

8-N

83.0

110.0

82.2

60.0

785

920

134.5

115.0

8-S

371.1

460.0

365.3

180.0

588

560

447.5

210.0

9

248.2

240.0

242.7

230.0

601

918

303.7

440.0

10-S

38.5

60.0

37.1

20.0

715

840

55.3

35.0

10-N

192.0

260.0

161.1

80.0

551

690

185.0

115.0

Other districts

73.6

75.0

72.6

70.0

929

754

140.5

110.0

STATE

5,950.0

6,400.0

5,600.0

4,100.0

723

679

8,440.0

5,800.0

Source: National AgriculturalStatistics Service

1/ = preliminary, May 2006