FirstWeek of June Unkind To Young Cotton;
Conditions Making Replant Impractical

Friday, June 6,2008                                 By Shawn Wade

      The end of the 2008 plantingseason has arrived on the heels of conditions more reminiscent of being trappedin a blast furnace than springtime in West Texas. The end result is High Plainscotton producers feeling the heat.

      To say it has been a toughweek in the biggest cotton patch in the world would be understating theobvious. Conditions are difficult and the area will now attempt to shrug offthe devastating blow a week of 100-plus air temperatures and 30-50 mile an hourwinds have dealt the crop.

      Hardest hit have been drylandcotton fields in virtually every corner of the area. Irrigated hasn’t goneunscathed as blowing sand from dryland corners or neighboring fields has alsodamaged tender, young plants.

      Many of the region’s drylandfields were either in the process of being planted or had only recently emergedfollowing a round of beneficial rainfall just before Memorial Day.

      Almost immediately after thatweather system moved out though, a much more harmful pattern began to takehold. Since that time hot, dry winds have been a regular fixture andimmediately forced producers to juggle planting, irrigation, sand fighting andin some cases replanting activities.

      Hot, dry winds and blowingsand are a significant threat to freshly planted fields and to crops that are alreadyestablished. With current conditions young plants are having a hard timestaying alive. It is also fairly safe to assume that many fields have also beencompletely destroyed or significantly damaged as well.

      A good measure of how toughconditions have been is illustrated by the National Weather Service’s PanEvaporation rate data, which indicates evaporation rates have exceeded 1 inchper day several times in the past week.

      The combination of hightemperatures and high winds are taking a toll on crops and robbing much neededmoisture from the upper soil profile.

      With two-thirds of the areanow past its federal crop insurance final planting date it is highly unlikelythat any of the acres lost or destroyed from this point forward will be in aposition to even consider being replanted. Growers in the southern part of theHigh Plains will reach their final planting date on June 10 and conditions areas bad or worse there than they are west and southwest of Lubbock.

      Weather forecasts for thenext week to ten days project these conditions will persist and that isprompting many producers and their insurance providers to carefully evaluatestands and moisture conditions when weighing the practicality of replantinglost crops.

      In a summary of the currentsituation that appeared in this week’s FOCUS on South Plains Agriculture newsletter, Texas AgrilifeExtension Service Cotton Specialist Dr. Randy Boman noted, “Due to the continuedloss of soil moisture in the upper profile and an unfavorable near-termforecast, the current situation makes it not practical to replant damaged ordestroyed stands.”

      FOCUS is available on theinternet at:


Thanks for visiting PCG on the Web:WWW.PLAINSCOTTON.ORG


Farm Bill Heads To President For Second Time;
USDA To Begin Cotton Price Forecasts June 10

Friday, June 6,2008                                 By Shawn Wade

      Even though a majority of the2008 Farm Bill has already been passed and enacted into law, the inadvertentomission of the original legislation’s Trade Title when it was printed and sentto President Bush last month has necessitated Congress retracing its steps tocorrect the mistake.

      In order to make sure theentire bill is enacted into law, Congressional leaders decided their bestoption was to re-pass the 2008 Farm Bill conference report and repeat theentire process over again.

      The House completed this taskjust before leaving for the Memorial Day recess at the end of May. The Senatefollowed their lead on June 5 re-passing the bill by a 77-15 vote.

      The measure will once againbe printed, with a lot of extra care during the proof-reading, and sent toPresident Bush’s desk for further action.

      Having already seen his firstveto overridden handily by Congress, the jury is out as to whether thePresident will issue another veto and force Congress to go through a second roundof override votes to enact the full bill.

      An alternative scenario thatcould also play out would involve President Bush simply letting the new billsit for ten days and be enacted without his signature.

      A third and final possibilityis that Congress could, somehow, fail to override a second veto. This wouldhave little impact beyond keeping the originally omitted Trade Title frombecoming law for a second time.

      None of the scenariosdiscussed above can alter the fact that 14 of the 2008 Farm Bill’s 15 titleshave already become law and are in the process of being implemented by USDA.Congresses only reason for re-passing them a second time, along with themissing Trade title, was to leave no doubt about the legality of any of the titlesat the end of the process.

      Regardless of how this lastchapter in the farm bill saga plays itself out, the process of implementing the2008 Farm Bill is now fully underway by USDA personnel.

USDA To Begin Projecting Cotton Prices

      Reversing a decades long banon publicly releasing Upland Cotton price projections, the USDA will beginincluding a projected cotton price for the current marketing year as part ofthe June 10 World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report.

      The change in USDA’s cottonprice policy was included in the 2008 Farm Bill and is just one of severalchanges that will be made in cotton program operations over the next fewmonths.

      The first cotton specificchange was implemented on May 23 and involves USDA’s procedure for calculatingthe Upland Cotton Adjusted World Price based upon an average of thefive-cheapest Upland Cotton price quotations for delivery to the Far East (FE).

      The initial FE-based AWP announcementwas made May 29 and was effective through June 5. The latest AWP announcementwas made on June 5 and is shown below.

      The June 5 AWP calculationprocedure also allows USDA to begin the blending process through which the AWPis transitioned from old crop to new crop price quotations.

      According to USDA the week ofJune 5-June 12 represents Week 2 of the 6-week transition period from usingcurrent price quotations to using forward price quotations in calculating theAWP. The procedure was adopted to avoid an abrupt change in the AWP that couldoccur with no transition period due to the difference between the new and oldcrop price quotations.

      For Weeks 1 and 2, theblended Far East (FE) price = [(2 x FE current price) + FE forward price]/3.



June 5, 2008




Adjusted World Price (AWP)


Coarse Count Adjustment (CCA)


Loan Deficiency Payment Rate




This week’s AWP and CCA are determined as follows:


Blended Far East (FE) Price




      Avg. U.S. spot market location 

 - 10.97

      SLM 1-1/16 inch cotton

 - 4.80

      Avg. U.S. location


      Sum of Adjustments  






FE Price  


FE Coarse Count Price  


Adjustment to SLM 1-1/32 inch cotton  

  - 6.70





(Cannot be less than zero)



NCC/PCG To Host Farm Bill
Educational Meetings June 24-25

Friday, June 6,2008                                 By Shawn Wade

      NCC staff will review keyprovisions of the new Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 in 45educational meetings across the Cotton Belt during the weeks of June 16 andJune 23.

      High Plains regional meetingsare being conducted as part of the NCC’s Southwest region rotation and will beco-hosted by Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

      All of the High Plainsmeetings will be held June 24-25, 2008. Locations for the High Plains meetingsare Dumas, Seagraves, Plainview, Midland, Lubbock and Lamesa.

      A complete schedule withdate, time and location for each of the High Plains meeting, as well as theinformation for similar meetings to be held in the rest of Texas, Oklahoma andKansas, is included below

      Being conducted as a serviceto NCC members, the presentations are aimed at providing the best availableinformation on the new farm bill and will conclude with a question and answerperiod. Other industry, media and agribusiness representatives also are invitedto attend.


Southwest Region Farm BillEducational Meetings

(all times local)


June 23

Wellington, KS, Raymond Frye Complex , 8 am

Weslaco, TX, TAMU Citrus Center, 9 am

Robstown, TX, Nueces County Fair Grounds, 3 pm

Hugoton, KS, Memorial Hall, 4 pm;

June 24

El Campo, TX, Civic Center, 9 am

Dumas, TX, Moore County Community Bldg, 10 am

Seagraves, TX, Community Bldg; 10 am

Victoria, TX, Howard Johnson Hotel, 3 pm

Plainview, TX, Ollie Liner Center, 3 pm

Midland, TX; Midland County Horseshoe, 3 pm;

June 25

Uvalde, TX, Uvalde Quality Inn, 10 am

Lubbock, TX, Plains Cotton Cooperative Assn, 10 am

San Angelo, TX; Texas Agri-Life Res. & Ext. Center, 10 am

Lamesa, TX, Dawson County Community Center, 2 pm

Abilene, TX, Abilene Christian U., 3 pm;

June 26

El Paso, TX, Wyndham Hotel, 10 am

Altus, OK, Oklahoma Cotton Cooperative Assn., 10 am.