Application Deadlines for 2008 Drought
Relief Programs Rapidly Approaching

Friday, August 22, 2008                             By Shawn Wade

      A tough, dry start and, until recently, precious little in-season rainfall threatens to severely limit the yield potential of an estimated 900,000 acres of dryland cotton. As August winds to close the situation has producers across the High Plains reacquainting themselves with the details of 2008 Drought Relief programs offered by area seed and technology providers.

      Drought Relief programs offered by major seed companies such as Delta & Pine Land, Fibermax, AFD, Stoneville, Americot, NexGen and All-Tex Cotton Seed offer similar levels of coverage and eligibility requirements, although some slight differences do exist.

      Local seed dealers act as the central collection point for Drought Relief program claims and support information. Growers are advised to contact their seed dealer to initiate the claim process and for specific information about the drought relief program offered by their cotton seed provider.

      The common thread to qualify for a 2008 Drought Relief program benefit on dryland acres is that the farm has to have harvested or appraised cotton production totaling less than 150 pounds per land acre. Producers applying for a Drought Relief program benefit through any of the available programs will be asked to submit production or crop insurance settlement documentation with their application.

      Deadlines for submitting claim applications vary widely among the programs with the earliest coming September 15, 2008 and the latest being January 15, 2009. A listing of Drought Relief program application deadlines appears below:

2008 Drought Relief Program

Application Deadlines

      Company                                 Date

      Fibermax, AFD, Stoneville       September 15, 2008

      Americot, NexGen                   October 1, 2008

      Delta & Pine Land/Monsanto         January 15, 2009

      All-Tex                                     January 15, 2009

      It should be noted that there are still a significant number of dryland acres that could ultimately qualify for the program by virtue of harvesting yields below the 150 pound per land acre threshold.

      Growers with dryland cotton acres that will ultimately be harvested who believe there is any possibility of qualifying for a Drought Relief program benefit are encouraged to file an initial claim prior to their application deadline to ensure eligibility.

      Only claims filed prior to the application deadline will be accepted. Growers will be asked to submit production evidence supporting such claims as soon as it becomes available.


2008 County Crop Tours and Field Days

      The August/September calendar is rapidly filling up with County Crop Tours and Industry Field Day events.

      The table below contains a partial listing of the events already scheduled. Growers interested in attending any of these Texas AgriLife Extension events should contact the appropriate County Extension office to request additional details.

      For more information about the industry Field Days listed below contact your local sales representative or dealer.

      If you have information that needs to be added or corrected regarding any of the events already listed or know of a date you would like to have added to this calendar please contact Shawn Wade at 806-792-4904.

2008 High Plains Event Calendar



Carson/Gray Co. Crop Tour

August 25

Bailey Co. Tour

August 26

Lubbock Co. Crop Tour

August 27

Gaines Co. Crop Tour

September 2

Castro Co. Ag Tour

September 3

Moore/Carson Co. Crop Tour

September 4

Yoakum Co. Crop Tour

September 9



Industry Field Days:


West Texas Agricultural Chemicals Institute Conf., Reese Technology Center, Lubbock

September 10 - For more information and to register on-line go to:

Monsanto/D&PL Field Days


September 24 – Producer

September 25 – Consultant

Bayer CropScience/Fibermax Field Days

September 30

October 2


The Day-Of-Conference registration fee for registrations postmarked or completed on-line after September 10 is $95.00 and credit cards will be accepted.  The 56th Annual Agricultural Chemicals Conference, organized by West Texas Agricultural Chemicals Institute, has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 10, 2008 and features a well-rounded schedule of speakers.

      The conference will take place at the Reese Technology Conference Center located at 9801 Reese Boulevard North (West 4th Street) Lubbock, Texas.

      Conference planners are encouraging attendees to take advantage of the new on-line registration process, which can be accessed at:

      The pre-registration fee for this year's conference is $75 for registrations completed on-line or postmarked before September 10. The Day-Of-Conference registration fee for registrations postmarked or completed on-line after September 10 is $95.00 and credit cards will be accepted.

      The conference has been approved for 5 CEUs by TDA, 6.5 CCA CEUs, 5 CEUs by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, and 4 CEUs by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.




Guest Commentary


August 15, 2008


It's Time to Turn Off the Water

in the Texas High Plains


Commentary by David Oefinger, Executive Director

Texas Pest Management Association

Austin, Texas


      It was not my intention to sit down and pen this message to High Plains farmers, but the idea literally opened before my eyes this morning at the breakfast table. It's time for High Plains growers to cut their use of water ... in fact, regulators should not allow one drop of water to be used for agriculture in the nation's largest cotton patch. Period.

      Now, hold on. You have to finish reading this commentary before you hang me from the nearest tree. There is a message here.

      This morning, as I sat down to my toast and coffee, I opened the Austin American-Statesman to the front page ... and there it was ... the idea for this commentary: "Armstrong tops list of city's largest water users."

      This morning's newspaper listed the 10 largest water users in Austin, Texas. Coming in number 1 was Lance Armstrong (bicyclist, lobbyist, techie and musician). According to the article, every minute during the month of June, about five gallons of water passed through the sinks, sprinklers, fountain, and pool at Lance Armstrong's home that rests on 1.16 acres of land. Armstrong used a total of 222,900 gallons of water in one month to feed his thirst.

      At the bottom of the list was Jerry Jeff Walker, who used 135,400 gallons of water during June. The other eight major water users fell between Armstrong's and Walker's name. The greatest amount of acreage for a residence was 3.266, but the remaining users were below 1.8 acres.

      I know that agricultural water use is always a big topic on the Texas High Plains, but water is really important here in Central Texas, too, with the blind salamander and all. Perhaps we could consider piping your water here to Austin, where there is a real need. During June, Samsung (one of the largest industries in the Austin area), consumed 109,825,300 gallons. See? We need your water!

      Armstrong said that he was a "little shocked" that he had used that much water. He had been in California during the month of June and thought his electric bill was a little high, but the cost of his water bill had never been brought to his attention. His estate is managed by a professional management firm.

      Now that's a nifty idea. Maybe some of you farmers could spend a little more time out of town during the growing season and let a citified management firm run your operation. Then you would never know how much it cost you to farm. It's just a thought...





      Armstrong's water usage during June was enough for 26 average Austin residences. All totaled, the top ten users used enough water in one month to fill a football field with 3 feet of water.

      Many of the water users said that they were not aware of the amount of water they were using. It is interesting, though, that in all my years of being involved in agriculture that I have not found 1 single High Plains grower who could not give me a ball park figure of how much water they were using, how much water it takes to produce an average crop, and how much it cost. I guess that comes from spending too much time on the farm tending to business. You folks should lighten up and spend more time traveling and leave the water to us city folks.

      One of the Austin water users said she was not shocked at all by her water bill. She figured that there must be a broken pipe somewhere on the quarter acre lot. But city officials doubted the broken pipe theory, saying that they had informed the user numerous times that she was consuming too much water.

      Another user said that this was his first home and he figured it was just "pricey" to maintain a yard and pool. He said a management firm paid his water bill and he never knew that he had used 151,500 gallons of water during June.

      Still another Austinite went on vacation and left the water cycling in the swimming pool. It makes me wonder how many High Plains farmers have gone on vacation and left their irrigation pumps running...

      The real story here, however, is that the top ten water users really are minor when considered with the total amount of water used by city residents and industry. City officials say that demand for water will easily exceed its supply unless consumers act to implement conservation measures.

      I hear that some High Plains state legislators are concerned about a proposal by T. Boone Pickens to pipe your water to Dallas. Well, folks here in Austin need your water, too ... for their pools, their fountains, and their lush lawns and landscape. Now, mind you, that's Austin folks ... I live in Round Rock. I have no pool, no fountain and my lawn is dying...but I do feel for my neighbors. Now while your state legislators may have a fight with Mr. Pickens, they'll face some really fierce competition here in Austin ... we have a blind salamander that needs your water!

      This commentary is best summed up by an Austin reader's comment to the Statesman's article:

      "Typical hypocrites. The Austin elite like to lecture the rest of us about conservation, but they don't practice what they preach. I have 1 acre, and 1,700 sq foot home. I have an orchard, and a nice veggie garden. I follow the rules for watering and I conserve as much as I can. It is very irresponsible not to, and bad planetary citizenship. Gardens before golf courses, food before pools."

      Did he actually say "food before pools"? What a novel little thought.