Farm Bill Negotiations Seem To Have
Moved ForwardDuring President’s Day Recess

Friday, February 22, 2008                          By Shawn Wade

      Itmay not seem like much has been accomplished, but over the course of the lastweek key Congressional leaders have kept working in hopes of hammering out acompromise budget framework within which a new farm bill can be developed.

      Althoughno public announcements have been made, indications from Capitol Hill are thatHouse and Senate leaders are zeroing in on a compromise budget agreement.

      Theagreement that appears to be taking shape would provide some $9 billion overthe projected 10-year baseline funding level for the farm bill and allowCongress to take another step toward completing the legislation.

      Whilenothing is yet cast in stone regarding a budget agreement, many Washingtonobservers are hopeful that an announcement could come early next week. If anagreement is completed it should pave the way for the Farm Bill ConferenceCommittee to begin hammering out the final version of this “must-pass”legislation.

 

Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. Announces
51stAnnual Meeting Speaker Line-up

Friday, February 22, 2008                          By Shawn Wade

      PlainsCotton Growers, Inc., is pleased to announce it will conduct the organization’s51st Annual Meeting on Friday, April 4, 2008. PCG’s meeting will be held in theBanquet Hall of the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center in conjunction with the TexasCotton Ginners Association Convention and Trade Show April 3-4, 2008 inLubbock.

      PCG’sAnnual Meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. with registration, and the program willstart promptly at 9 a.m. Primary topics of discussion at the PCG meeting willinclude an overview of the current political climate and the potential impactthis year’s presidential election will have on agriculture and trade policy; afarm bill issues update; and a 2008 commodity price and energy outlook.

      Keynotespeaker for this year’s PCG meeting is Washington, DC-based political andagricultural analyst Jerry Hagstrom. Hagstrom, who is a Special Correspondentfor the National Journal’s Congress Daily, has been asked to present histhoughts on the political landscape heading into the 2008 presidentialelection, what direction agriculture and trade policy might take under a newpresident and how these changes might impact implementation of a new farm bill.

      “Weare extremely pleased to have secured the participation of Jerry Hagstrom forthis year’s annual meeting,” notes PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett. “Havingbeen involved in the reporting of agriculture and legislative issues inWashington, DC for over two decades, we are looking forward to hearing histhoughts about the upcoming presidential election and how a changing politicallandscape could impact agricultural issues in the future.”

      JoiningHagstrom on the program will be John Miller, founder of Southwest AgribusinessConsulting of College Station, Texas. Miller will present his thoughts on theoutlook for commodity and energy prices and the market forces that will shapethe 2008 production season. Rounding out the meat of the PCG annual meetingprogram will be an update on the farm bill.

      CurrentPCG president Mike Hughes, of Lamesa, will preside over the meeting and PCGExecutive Vice President Steve Verett will report on the status of PCGoperations and activities. Plains Cotton Improvement Committee Chairman DaleSwinburn will review the activities of the Plains Cotton Improvement Program.

      Additionalinformation about the PCG Annual Meeting and a final program will be availableto attendees prior to the meeting.

 

Cotton Inc To Offer Free CottonMarketing
Workshop;Reserve Your Spot Today

      Get your calendars out andpencil in your plans to attend this year’s “Cotton Price Risk Management andPricing Strategies Seminar” sponsored by Cotton Incorporated, in cooperationwith Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

      The free seminar is designedto help producers develop and sharpen their individual cotton marketing skillsand develop market-based strategies for managing price risk for the 2008marketing season.

      This year’s workshop will beheld on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Towers, locatedat 801 Avenue Q in Lubbock. The workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. through 5:00p.m. Lunch will be provided to all workshop participants.

      Workshop topics include: “Whyare options on cotton futures critical to your business?”; “What can options dofor you and how?”; and, “Actionable hedging strategies.”

      Instructors for this year’sseminar will be retired Texas A&M Extension Economist Dr. Carl Anderson andMr. Mike Stevens of Swiss Financial.

      The program will also includea 2008 Production Cost Outlook by Dr. John Robinson of Texas A&MUniversity; a Market Outlook by Cotton Marketing Specialist Dr. O.A. Cleveland;a presentation on hedging Counter-cyclical payments by Kelli Merritt, fromCropMark, Inc., in Lamesa; and a session on practical application of the skillsand information provided during the workshop by Cotton Specialist Mike Stevens.

      For information about theconference contact Jeanne Reeves at Cotton Incorporated (919-678-2370) or ShawnWade at Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. (806-792-4904).

      Registration is required forthe conference and participants can register by telephone or email. Telephoneregistrations should be directed to Kay Wriedt (919-678-2271). Emailregistrations should be addressed to: kwriedt@cottoninc.com

 

Wantthe facts about the U.S. farm policy. Get what you need at:

www.farmpolicyfacts.com

 

2007-CROP HIGH PLAINS COTTON QUALITY SUMMARY

 

 

Week Ending February 21, 2008:

 

Office

Bales

Color

Leaf

Staple

Lamesa

60,092

21+

2.76

35.74

Lubbock

73,168

21+

2.78

36.02

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

4.12

29.02

80.54

20.6%

Lubbock

4.00

29.06

80.51

11.9%

 

 

Season Totals To Date:

 

Office

Bales

Color

Leaf

Staple

Lamesa

1,393,189

21+

2.42

36.00

Lubbock

3,669,219

21+

2.48

36.01

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

4.19

29.68

80.80

7.8%

Lubbock

4.06

29.55

80.62

3.4%

Source: USDA AMS Cotton Division

 

PCG’s2008 Seed Cost Calculator

      An updated version of the2008 Plains Cotton Growers Seed Cost Calculator is now available. Growersinterested in comparing prices for their 2008 planting seed options candownload the calculator at http://www.plainscotton.org.

      The 2008 version includes 129conventional, Roundup Ready, Roundup Ready FLEX, Liberty Link, Bollgard andBollgard II and Widestrike varieties, as well as numerous stacked gene versionsof these technologies that will be available for sale in West Texas in 2008.Should information on additional varieties become available, an update to thespreadsheet will be developed and posted on PCG's website.

      The PCG calculator is aninteractive Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that allows producers to calculate anestimated cost per acre, for both seed and technology, based on publishedsuggested retail prices.