Farm Bill Progress Is Being Made;
Bill Unlikely To Be Completed Before March 15

Friday, March 7, 2008                                By Shawn Wade

      Opinionson where the farm bill negotiation process is heading vary almost as widely asthe range of interests that are keenly interested in seeing the farm billcompleted.

      Accordingto Plains Cotton Growers Executive Vice President Steve Verett, the feelingthat comes across when discussing the bill’s status with people familiar withthe negotiations is still overwhelmingly positive, albeit restrained.

      Henotes that the recent lull in new information about the bill is more a resultof the methodical approach that is being taken to nailing down the budgetaryaspects of the bill than it is a sign that the bill is in danger of stallingaltogether.

      Reinforcingthis viewpoint is a new report that Senate Finance Committee members, who arealso members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, have pulled together apackage of budget cuts and revenue enhancers totaling some $12 billion that willbe sent to the House and the Bush administration for their consideration.

      Verettnotes that Congressional leaders and staff in the House and Senate haveactually been very busy laying the groundwork for the final stages of theprocess to proceed.

      Withonly one week left until the current farm bill funding extension expires March15, it appears likely that a short-term funding extension will be considered toallow additional time for to complete the farm bill conference, secure finalapproval in the House and Senate and then send the bill to the President.

      HouseAgriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson has noted that despite thesignificant level of behind the scenes work that continues to get done and theprogress that is being made on the funding issues, it appears unlikely that afinal bill can be completed before the March 15 deadline.

      Accordingto Peterson an extension, if approved, would only provide an additional 30 daysof funding authority to get things wrapped up.

      Reinforcingthe importance of maintaining a viable safety net that can work for all of U.S.agriculture and ultimately supporting the final legislation once all thedetails are agreed upon was Verett’s primary purpose for traveling toWashington.

      Whilethere Verett participated in meetings and visited the offices of each member ofthe Texas Congressional delegation as well as meeting with staffrepresentatives from both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.

      Duringhis meetings Verett said his message to legislators was simple – continueto support the effort to nail down revenue options and complete the bill, andto encourage them to support the bill when voting for final passage of theconference report.

      Verettnoted that he has been gratified by the support that virtually every member ofthe Texas delegation displayed for the underlying bill and the additionalinvestments that it would make in key program areas.

      Justas important to the final disposition of the legislation according to Verettwas the equally strong support members of the Texas delegation showed for theidentification and use of revenue enhancers to provide the $10 billion inadditional funding that will increase support levels for nutrition, specialtycrop and conservation programs.


2007 Systems Agronomic and Economic
Evaluation Program Report Now Available

Friday, March 7, 2008                                By Shawn Wade

      TexasAgriLife Extension Service Cotton Specialist Dr. Randy Boman has completed his2007 report detailing the results of the highly popular “Systems Agronomic andEconomic Evaluation of Cotton Varieties in the Texas High Plains.”

      Acomplete portable document format (PDF) version of the report can be downloadedfrom the Lubbock Texas AgriLife Extension website at:

      Thisyear’s report features final agronomic and economic analysis for selectedcotton varieties planted in the program’s three large-scale variety trialsconducted by Dr. Boman and supported through the Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.Plains Cotton Improvement Program (PCIP).

      Inaddition to the agronomic and economic analysis comparing cotton seed varietiesplanted at the three “Systems” test locations in 2007, information from avariety of High Plains variety trials conducted in both irrigated and drylandconditions are included in the 2007 report.

      “The‘Systems Agronomic and Economic Evaluation’ program report is a document cottongrowers on the High Plains have come to rely on when they sit down to makeplanting decisions,” says PCIP Chairman Dale Swinburn of Tulia. “Combined withthe PCG Seed Cost Calculator this report is a valuable resource for growerstrying to weigh the many choices that are available in the marketplace today.”


51st Plains CottonGrowers, Inc.

Annual Meeting


Friday, April 4, 2008
Lubbock Mem. CivicCenter

Registration - 8:30 a.m. • ProgramStart -9:00 a.m.


Keynote Speaker:

Jerry Hagstrom

Political and Agricultural Analyst& Reporter,

Washington, DC

Featured Topics:
2008 CommodityPrice/Energy Outlook

Farm Program Update


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

      Get your calendars out andplan to attend this year’s “Cotton Price Risk Management and Pricing StrategiesSeminar” sponsored by Cotton Incorporated, in cooperation with Plains CottonGrowers, 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 the conferencecontact Jeanne Reeves at Cotton Incorporated (919-678-2370) or Shawn Wade atPlains 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:


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

      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.


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