October USDA Crop Report Slightly Lower;
High Plains Est. Lowered To 3.57 Million Bales

Friday, October 10, 2008                            By Shawn Wade

      Nationally the Upland cotton production forecast for 2008 was lowered by one percent to 13.3 million bales by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

      Breaking down the report reveals only minor changes were made to yields and acreage within several Texas Agricultural Statistics Service (TASS) reporting districts. These changes merely reshuffled the numbers a bit as the Texas Upland cotton forecast was left unchanged at 5.3 million bales.

      Zeroing in on the Texas High Plains, which is projected to account for 67.4 percent of the Texas crop and 27 percent of all U.S. Upland cotton production in 2008, serves as a perfect illustration of the minor changes made in this month's report.

      Overall the High Plains is now projected to produce 3.57 million bales of Upland cotton in 2008, down 40,000 bales from the September 1 USDA estimate of 3.61 million. Revisions to both harvested acres and yields combined to create the decrease.

      The October figures indicate the High Plains will harvest 1.97 million acres, 30,000 acres lower than the 2 million acres projected the previous month. Those numbers reflect an overall 2008 abandonment of 1.32 million acres, which equals 40 percent of the area's 2008 planted acreage.

      On the yield side, projected yields for TASS reporting district 1-N were lowered one pound to 951 pounds per harvested acre. TASS reporting district 1-S saw a five pound increase in its' projected yield to 837 pounds per harvested acre.

      Overall the report seems to be headed in the wrong direction for producers who need every pound they can produce in 2008. Weather has been the major variable whose impact nobody has been able to quantify throughout the 2008 growing season.

      There is no doubt that for the majority of the month of September the weather cooperated quite nicely and provided the crop in the field an opportunity to at least approach the yield potential surveyed by USDA. If it actually gets there is another question entirely.

      One thing we do know is that the final tally for the 2008 crop will be known in just a few short months now that producers are rapidly shift gears and getting into their harvest operations.

 

NASS Announces 2007 Upland Cotton MYA
Price; Revisions Could Have Big Impact

Friday, October 10, 2008                            By Shawn Wade

      Based on information released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service October 10, the final 2007-crop Counter-cyclical program payment rate for Upland cotton might be significantly lower than the amount previously estimated by Plains Cotton Growers and other industry groups.

      PCG, along with the National Cotton Council and others, has been tracking prices and marketings throughout the 2007 Upland cotton marketing year and estimated that the final weighted average Price Received by Farmers (also known as the market year average "MYA" price) for Upland cotton would be approximately 57.11 cents.

      That figure is significantly lower than the 59.3 cents per pound MYA average price announced by NASS earlier today. Figuring out where and how the difference originated may take some time to figure out because NASS will not release the revised monthly price and marketing totals it used to calculate the Upland cotton MYA price until the end of October.

      Surprise is the only word that can describe the NASS announced price says, PCG Executive Vice President Steve Verett. "While we certainly don't have any concrete reason to dispute the 59.3 cent price announced by our friends at NASS, we are more than a little curious about how such a large change could come about," he said.

      "In just a few days the USDA Farm Service Agency is expected to use the final MYA average price announced today to calculate the final 2007 Counter-cyclical payment rate for Upland cotton," adds Verett. "Assuming FSA verifies the accuracy of the announced MYA price, the 2.2 cent difference means the final payment rate could be 25 percent lower than they were expecting because of the revisions made by NASS."

      FSA has delayed announcing the final Upland cotton CC payment rate in order to allow USDA NASS the opportunity to incorporate revisions to previously announced monthly price or marketing totals. The revised figures are apparently what were used to calculate the final MYA price for Upland cotton during the 2007-2008 Upland cotton marketing year that ended July 31, 2008.

      Cotton producers had the opportunity to request and receive an advance on their 2007-crop Upland cotton CC payment in February of this year. The advance 2007 CC payment rate was 3.09-cents per pound, 40 percent of the estimated final payment rate calculated by USDA.

      Only producers who DID NOT receive the 40 percent advance CC payment paid in February 2008 will receive a final payment based on 100 percent of the final CC payment rate, whatever it may be.

      Producers who elected to receive the advance 2007 CC payment in February would receive payments based on the final CC payment rate less the 3.09-cent advance payment rate.

 

House Ways and Means Committee Requests
Monitoring of Chinese Textile Imports

Friday, October 10, 2008                            By Shawn Wade

      House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel has requested the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to initiate an investigation to monitor certain U.S. textile and apparel imports from China beginning January 1, 2009.

      Hoping to forestall a repeat of the disruptive surge of Chinese textile and apparel exports to the United States that followed the discontinuation of textile quotas in January 2005, Chairman Rangel's request is designed to help the Ways and Means Committee determine if import safeguards are needed when remaining Chinese quotas are removed on certain categories of U.S. textile and apparel imports from China expires at the end of 2008.

      Chairman Rangel's request follows a September 26 letter to President George W. Bush signed by seventy-three (73) U.S. Representatives that urged the Bush Administration to extend and expand the current Textile Monitoring Program (TMP) to cover U.S. textile and apparel imports from China beginning on January 1, 2009.

      Textile and fiber industry trade associations and one labor union have also written to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab asking them to initiate TMP monitoring of Chinese imports.

      The TMP currently monitors U.S. apparel imports from Vietnam for illegal dumping. Expansion of the TMP will allow the U.S. to monitor and, if necessary, counter-act any detrimental spikes in textile imports following the expiration of the current safeguard rules.

      Concerns about market disruption are not unwarranted. The expiration of quotas in World Trade Organization's (WTO) Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) in 2005 resulted in a nearly 600 percent volume increase of U.S. textile and apparel imports from China and severely disrupted the U.S. market.

      This led the U.S. government to impose WTO-legal safeguards on numerous categories of U.S. textile and apparel imports from China. That action encouraged the United States and China to negotiate the bilateral agreement that is set to expire at year end. Within the last few months, China has announced four steps to increase subsidies to its textile sector and indicated that additional actions are likely.

      Under the Tariff Act of 1930, the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee may request the ITC to initiate investigations and provide data to enable his committee to monitor imports and gather information on international trade related issues.

      Further, Section 421(b) of the Trade Act of 1974 also provides the House Ways and Means Committee the ability to initiate a safeguard investigation, as provided under China's Protocol of Accession to the WTO, to determine whether the U.S. market is being disrupted or being threatened with disruption.

      A Section 421(b) safeguard would allow the U.S. government to take steps to mitigate any disruption to the U.S. market, or threat thereof, by implementing quotas, tariffs, or a combination of both.

 

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

www.farmpolicyfacts.com

 

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 (www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov). 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 10/03/08

County:

Location:

Time:

Date:

Childress

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

10:00 am

10/14/2008

Collingsworth

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

8:30 am

10/14/2008

Donley

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

2:00 pm

10/14/2008

Floyd

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

9:30 am

10/14/2008

Foard

Crowell State Bank Room, HWY 70 (Northside of Square), Crowell, Tx.

6:00 pm

10/14/2008

Hall

1st Bank & Trust meeting Room, North of Courthouse, Memphis, Tx

1:30 pm

10/14/2008

Hemphill

Hemphill County Exhibition Barn, Exhibition Road, Canadian, Tx.

6:00 pm

10/14/2008

Kent

Kent County Courthouse, HWY 70, Jayton, Tx.

5:30 pm

10/14/2008

Lubbock

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

9:00 am

10/14/2008

Motley

USDA Service Center, 1103 Eubank, Matador, Tx.

8:30 am

10/14/2008

Bailey

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

9:00 am

10/15/2008

Dickens

USDA Service Center, 312 Willard Avenue, Spur, Tx.

7:00 pm

10/15/2008

Gray

Gray County Annex, 12125 East Frederic Ave., Pampa, Tx.

7:00 pm

10/16/2008

King

Guthrie Community Center, US HWY 83, Guthrie Tx.

1:30 pm

10/16/2008

Lynn

Tahoka Housing Authority, 1400 Ave. K, Tahoka, Tx.

8:30 am

10/16/2008

Stonewall

Stonewall County Courthouse, 128 West 6th Street, Aspermont, Tx.

9:00 am

10/16/2008

Armstrong

USDA Service Center, 208 East 1st Street, Claude, Tx.

7:00 pm

10/21/2008

Cochran

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

8:00 am

10/21/2008

Crosby

Pioneer Museum, US HWY 82, Crosbyton, Tx.

6:00 pm

10/21/2008

Gaines

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

8:00 am

10/21/2008

Randall

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

10:00 am

10/21/2008

Roberts

KNT Cafˇ, 123 Commercial Street (HWY 60), Miami, Tx.

7:30 a.m

10/21/2008

Terry

American State Bank Conf. Room.,1323 Tahoka Road, Brownfield, Tx.

9:00 am

10/21/2008

Dallam

USDA Service Center, 622 West 7th Street, Dalhart, Tx.

10:00 am

10/22/2008

Hartley

NRCS Office, 811 4th Street, Hartley, Tx.

2:00 pm

10/22/2008

Hockley

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

8:30 am

10/22/2008

Potter

Agrilife Extension Center, 6500 Amarillo Blvd. West, Amarillo, Tx.

1:00 p.m

10/22/2008

Oldham

Vega Banking Center, Main and US HWY 385, Vega, Tx.

9:00 am

10/23/2008

Carson

USDA Service Center, 221 Euclid Street, Panhandle, Tx.

8:00 am

10/23/2008

Hansford

Spearman City Hall, 30 SW Court, Spearman

8:30 am

10/28/2008

Deaf Smith

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

9:00 am

10/30/2008