CFTC Set To Address Agricultural Market
Issues At April 22 Stakeholder Forum

Friday, March 21, 2008                              By Shawn Wade

      Recentdisruptions in U.S. agriculture markets have prompted the Commodity FuturesTrading Commission to schedule a public meeting of market stakeholders -including exchanges, traders, merchandisers and producers - on April 22, 2008.The meeting will be held at the CFTC’s Washington, DC headquarters beginning at9:00 a.m.

      Thepurpose of the meeting is to discuss the turbulent events of the last few weeksand their ongoing impact on agriculture markets. Topics to be discussed includethe lack of convergence between the futures and cash prices, higher marginrequirements and their impact on market participants, and the role of speculatorsand commodity index traders.

      Theforum is a welcome response from the CFTC says Plains Cotton Growers ExecutiveVice President Steve Verett.

      “Recentevents have caused a significant upheaval in the cotton marketing system thatneeds to be addressed to insure the future viability of the futures market as afunctioning price discovery tool for buyers and sellers,” explains Verett. “Ourrequest to the CFTC, which echoed the concerns of other segments of the cottonindustry, was that the CFTC look into the situation and do what it can toinsure the functionality of these markets in the future.”

      Indescribing the need for the forum, CFTC Chairman Walter Lukken said, “Thesehistoric market conditions, particularly in wheat and cotton, require the CFTCto hear firsthand from participants to ensure that the exchanges arefunctioning properly to discover prices and manage risk.”

 

DON’T FORGET:
51st PCG Annual Meeting April 4

Friday, March 21, 2008                              By Shawn Wade

      The51st Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. Annual Meeting has been set forApril 4, 2008 in conjunction with the 2008 Texas Cotton Ginners AssociationConvention and Trade Show, April 3-4, in Lubbock. PCG’s Annual Meeting willbegin at 8:30 a.m. with registration in the Banquet Hall of the LubbockMemorial Civic Center.

      CongressmanRandy Neugebauer of Lubbock highlights this year’s Annual meeting line-up. Rep.Neugebauer, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, will provide the PCGmembership with his thoughts on the farm bill and discuss key issues importantto the High Plains agriculture industry.

      JoiningRep. Neugebauer from Washington is PCG’s keynote speaker Jerry Hagstrom.Hagstrom, a Washington, DC-based political and agricultural analyst, is aSpecial Correspondent for the National Journal’s Congress Daily and willpresent his thoughts on the political landscape heading into the 2008presidential election and the potential impact of these results on future U.S.agriculture and trade policy, including the new farm bill.

      PCG’sthird featured speaker is John Miller, founder of Southwest AgribusinessConsulting, Inc. in Caldwell, Texas. Miller will discuss the outlook forcommodity and energy prices and the market forces that are at work shapingproducer decisions heading into the 2008 production season.

      Roundingout the program will be reports from PCG President Mike Hughes, of Lamesa, PCGExecutive Vice President Steve Verett and Plains Cotton Improvement ProgramCommittee Chairman Dale Swinburn of Tulia.

      Threeother special events will bookend this year’s PCG Annual meeting. Kickingthings off April 4 will be a Buffet Breakfast from 7:00-8:30 a.m. in the CivicCenter Banquet Hall sponsored by Monsanto and Delta & Pine Land Company.

      Breakfastwill be provided free to all PCG Annual Meeting participants as well as cottonproducers and industry people interested in attending the day’s second specialevent - the April 4th Ag Market Network conference call that will broadcastlive from the Civic Center Banquet Hall beginning at 7:30 a.m.

      Completingthe day’s special activities will be the annual Fibermax Cottonseed luncheonfor PCG Annual meeting participants and members of the Fibermax “One Ton Club”immediately following the conclusion of the PCG meeting. Lunch will be servedin the Civic Center Banquet Hall.

 

Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

51st Annual Meeting

 

Friday, April 4, 2008
Lubbock Mem. CivicCenter • 8:30 a.m.

 

Special Guest:

Congressman Randy Neugebauer

 

Featured Speakers:

Jerry Hagstrom

Political and Agricultural Analyst& Reporter,

Washington, DC

 

John Miller
SouthwestAgribusiness Consulting, Inc.

 

Lamesa Cotton Growers Schedules 2008 Annual Meeting For March 27 At10:00 a.m.

Friday, March 21, 2008                              By Shawn Wade

      LamesaCotton Growers Inc. will hold itsŐ 2008 Annual meeting on Thursday, March 27beginning at 10:00 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Dawson County CommunityBuilding, located at the intersection of South 8th and Houston, inLamesa. Lunch will be served at the conclusion of the meeting.

      Accordingto Lamesa Cotton Growers President Matt Farmer, this year’s meeting will featurea report on the status of the new farm bill from Congressman Mike Conaway ofMidland. Rep. Conaway is a member of the House Agriculture Committee.

      Inaddition to Rep. Conaway, the meeting will include reports from Plains CottonGrowers President Mike Hughes, Texas Boll Weevil Eradication FoundationChairman Woody Anderson, and Lamesa Cotton Classing Office Director RalphCummings. Dawson County Farm Service Agency Executive Director Joe Hefner andDawson County Texas AgriLife Extension agent Jeff Wyatt will also presentreports to the Lamesa Cotton Growers membership.

 

NASSExtends Deadline For Ag Census Forms

Friday, March 21, 2008                              By Shawn Wade     The deadline for farmers to turn in2007 Census of Agriculture forms has been extended until June 1, according toNational Agricultural Statistics Service Deputy Administrator Carol House. Shesays the extension from February 4 is because a large number of the censusforms have not been returned.

      "Weare sending another form out there again with encouragement to fill itout," House said. "We'll give a little bit of time and then we'regoing to start calling people. Of course calling costs money, it's taxpayerdollars, so hopefully producers out there will go ahead and fill it out beforewe have to make a phone call."

      Respondingto the census – conducted every five years – is required by law andthe privacy of answers given is protected.

      "Ifa producer is not filling it out because they have a question, they're notquite sure how to go about it, they're not sure whether they're required tofill it out or not, please call," House says. "We've received 130,000calls since census forms were sent out."

      Atoll-free help line is available at (888) 424-7828. The census also can besubmitted online at the following address.

http://www.agcensus.usda.gov

 

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 March 20, 2008:

 

Office

Bales

Color

Leaf

Staple

Lamesa

22,153

11-21

2.79

35.49

Lubbock

15,879

11-21

3.18

35.54

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

3.97

29.89

80.30

48.4%

Lubbock

3.96

28.66

80.30

27.2%

 

 

Season Totals To Date:

 

Office

Bales

Color

Leaf

Staple

Lamesa

1,545,961

21+

2.46

35.97

Lubbock

3,801,638

21+

2.50

36.01

 

Mike

Strength

Uniformity

Bark

Lamesa

4.18

29.63

80.76

9.9%

Lubbock

4.05

29.53

80.61

3.8%

Source: USDA AMS Cotton Division

 

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 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

 

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.