House Approves Measure Increasing
Transparency Of Commodity/Energy Markets

Friday, September 19, 2008                           By Shawn Wade

      The House of Representatives voted to approve a bipartisan bill to increase the transparency, oversight, and antimanipula-tion authority of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC ) over commodity futures and options markets.

      The bill, H.R. 6604, (the Commodity Markets Transparency and Accountability Act of 2008) was sponsored by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota, and passed by a vote of 283-133.

      According to a summary of the bill, H.R. 6604 strengthens trader position limits on oil and other futures markets as a way to prevent potential price distortions caused by excessive speculative trading.  It also directs the CFTC to provide a clearer picture of the over-the-counter (OTC) markets, and calls for new full-time CFTC staff to improve enforcement, prevent manipulation, and prosecute fraud.

      A review of the House vote on final passage of H.R. 6604 indicates that High Plains Representatives Mac Thornberry, Randy Neugebauer and Mike Conaway each voted against final passage of the legislation.

      Provisions included in the Commodity Markets Transparency and Accountability Act, which has yet to be considered by the Senate, would:  Require foreign boards of trade to share trading data and adopt speculative position limits on contracts that trade U.S. commodities similar to U.S.-regulated exchanges; Require the CFTC to set trading limits for all agricultural and energy commodities, in order to prevent excessive speculation; Limit eligibility for hedge exemptions to bona-fide hedgers; Codify CFTC recommendations to improve transparency in dark markets by disaggregating index fund and other data in energy and agricultural markets as well as requiring detailed reporting from index traders and swap dealers; Call for a minimum of 100 full-time CFTC employees to enforce manipulation and prevent fraud. Despite record trading volume in the futures and options markets, CFTC staffing is at its lowest level since the agency was created in 1974; Authorize CFTC to take action if it finds disruption in over-the-counter markets for energy and gas; Require the CFTC to study the effectiveness of establishing position limits in over-the-counter markets.

      Congressional oversight of commodity futures trading is under the jurisdiction of the House Agriculture Committee, chaired by Congressman Peterson.  The Committee originally approved H.R. 6604 by voice vote on July 24, 2008.  The measure was brought to the House floor on July 30 under suspension of House rules, but failed to receive the two-thirds majority needed to pass at that time.

      Previous Committee action on H.R. 6604 and a summary of the bill's provisions can be found on the House Agriculture Committee website at:


Revised 2008 High Plains/Northern Rolling
Plains Harvest Aid Guide Now Available

Friday, September 19, 2008                           By Shawn Wade

       The 2008 crop is getting nearer the finish line and High Plains cotton producers are already beginning to think about their harvest aid regimens.

      The best place for growers to go for sound advice in the harvest aid arena is the newly updated 2008 Harvest Aid Guide published by Dr. Randy Boman, Cotton Agronomist, Texas AgriLife Extension.

      Dr. Boman has notified us that the revised 2008 Harvest Aid Guide is now available on the Lubbock TAMU Research and Extension Center website. The revised 2008 Harvest Aid Guide can be found at:




Dawson Co. To Host Agricultural Waste
Pesticide Collection Program September 23

      The Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Department of Agriculture, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality organize regional collections of unwanted or unused (waste) pesticides throughout the state as part of the Agricultural Waste Pesticide Collection Program.

      The program will be held September 23, 2008 beginning at 8:00 a.m. and concluding at 1 p.m.  The collection will be held at the Dawson County Fair Barn, 1200 Court C in Lamesa, Texas.

      Information about the collection program, can be found on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality website (, or please call 512-239-3100 or send an e-mail (

      Information about the Dawson County even can be obtained from contact Jeff Wyatt, Dawson County Extension Agent, at Texas AgriLife Extension office in Lamesa by telephone at 806-872-3444 or by email at:

      The free collections, conducted rain or shine, give agricultural producers who use pesticides in Texas an opportunity to dispose of unwanted products that may pose a hazard to them, their families, and their surrounding farming and ranching communities. The program is strictly voluntary and no one is required to participate.

      The participants do not have to identify themselves. However, there is a short survey in which the participants are asked questions to better understand what is being collected, so that appropriate disposal and handling can be ensured; how long it may have been in storage; and where it may have come from geographically in relation to the collection point.

      The following items and product types will be accepted at the collection event:  rinsed, empty pesticide containers, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides, nematicides, bactericides, growth regulators, harvest aid chemicals, pesticides used on livestock, other miscellaneous pesticides, all formulations of herbicides, excluding those containing 2,4,5-T-Silvex, unknown substances (please label the container "unknown"), used motor oil and oil filters, and lead-acid batteries.

      The program cannot accept:  waste from chemical distributors or chemical dealers, waste from franchise pesticide applicators certified by the Texas Structural Pest Control Board, waste pesticides from chemical manufacturers, waste from commercial generators, explosive materials, pesticides (herbicides) containing 2,4,5-T or 2,4,5,TP (Silvex), unrinsed or improperly rinsed empty pesticide containers, fertilizers or nutrient materials that are neither hazardous nor contain pesticide admixtures, products containing pentachlorophenol, compressed-gas cylinders, or out-of-state waste.


2008 County Crop Tours and Field Days

      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



Dawson County Waste Pesticide Collection Program

September 23, 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Dawson Co. Fair Barn,
1200 Court C, Lamesa

Hockley Co. Tour

October 1, contact Hockley County Extension Office for more information

Mitchell Co. Crop Tour

October 2

Borden/Scurry Co. Crop Tour

October 9



Industry Field Days:


Monsanto/D&PL Field Days




September 23 – Consultant

September 24 – Producer

PLEASE CALL 740-1600 to RSVP and confirm your attendance

Bayer CropScience/Fibermax Field Days

September 30

October 2


NRCS To Hold 2009 EQIP PDG/LWG Meetings

      Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts invite the public, and any agencies with interest, to participate in the agency's 2009 Local Work Group (LWG) meetings.

      The purpose of the LWG's is to provide members of the community a forum for submitting recommendations on local issues and county based funding that can be addressed through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

      Local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) conduct LWG meetings in partnership with USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

      Each county in Texas holds the public meetings annually and meeting information will soon be posted on the Texas NRCS website ( A partial list of LWG meetings already scheduled for the High Plains and South Plains regions is included in the table below.

2009 EQIP LWG Meeting
Dates, Times and Locations

as of 09/19/08





LWG Mtg Date:




9:30 a.m.


Quanah Community Center,
State HWY 104 & FM 2568


9:00 a.m.


Moore County Annex East 1st. St., Dumas, Tx.


9:00 a.m.


Happy State Bank, 100 N. Main. St., Stratford, Tx


9:00 a.m.


USDA Service Center, US Hwy 70, Paducah, Tx.


10:00 a.m.


Greenbelt Elec. Coop. Meeting Rm.,
US Hwy 83, Childress, Tx.


8:30 a.m.


Roberson's Restaurant, U.S. Highway 83, Wellington, Tx.


2:00 p.m.


Courson RFO Bldg., Clarendon College, 1322 W. 2nd, Clarendon, Tx.


9:30 a.m.


USDA Service Center, U.S. Highway 70 East, Floydada, Tx.


1:30 p.m.


1st Bank & Trust Mtg Room, N. of Courthouse, Memphis, Tx


9:00 a.m.


USDA-ARS Center, 3810 4th St., Lubbock, Tx.


8:30 a.m.


USDA Service Center, 1103 Eubank, Matador, Tx.


9:00 a.m.


Five Area Telephone Mtg. Rm., 302 Uvalde St. (W Hwy 84), Muleshoe, Tx.


8:00 a.m.


USDA Ser. Cntr, 200 W. Taylor St., Morton, Tx.


6:00 p.m.


Pioneer Museum, US HWY 82, Crosbyton, Tx.


8:00 a.m.


USDA Service Center, 1301 South Main St., Seminole, Tx.


10:00 a.m.


Randall Co. AgriLife Ext. Center, 200 N Brown Rd., Canyon, Tx  


8:30 a.m.


Chase Bank, 800 8th St., Levelland, Tx.

Deaf Smith

9:00 a.m.


Hereford Community Center, 100 Avenue C, Hereford, Tx.


8:30 a.m.


USDA Service Center, 109 NE 14th Street, Lamesa, Tx.


9:30 a.m.


Rhoads Memorial Library, 105 SW 2nd St., Dimmitt, Tx.


9:30 a.m.


Plains Community Building, 1006 Avenue G, Plains, Tx.


9:00 a.m.


Bovina EMS Building, 109 3rd St., Bovina, Tx.


8:30 a.m.


USDA Service Center, 1410 S. Alan Bean Blvd., Wheeler, Tx.


9:00 a.m.


Museum of the Plains, 1200 North Main Street, Perryton, Tx.