FSA Announces 6.43-cent Final 2007
Counter-cyclical Payment Rate for Upland Cotton

Friday, October 17, 2008                          By Shawn Wade

      It's official. According to a release from the USDA Farm Service Agency issued late on October 10, the final 2007-crop Upland cotton Counter-cyclical program payment rate is 6.43 cents per pound, a full 2.2 cents below the previously estimated payment rate calculated before revisions to monthly marketing and price data were incorporated by the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

      Conversations with officials at NASS have confirmed the accuracy of the revised calculation, but did not provide any additional insight about what changes precipitated the unexpectedly large difference.

      For that growers and industry members were advised that they would have to wait until the final revised monthly marketing are released on October 31.

      FSA had delayed announcing the final Upland cotton CC payment rate in order to allow USDA NASS the opportunity to incorporate their revisions to previously announced monthly price or marketing totals. The results of those changes were then used to calculate the final MYA price for Upland cotton for the 2007-2008 Upland cotton marketing year that ended July 31, 2008.

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

      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 6.43 cent final CC payment rate announced October 10.

      Producers who elected to receive the advance 2007 CC payment in February will receive payments based on the final CC payment rate less the 3.09-cent advance payment rate, and comes to 3.34 cents per pound.


Bush Signs Legislation Containing
Farm Bill Technical Corrections

Friday, October 17, 2008                          By Shawn Wade

      President Bush signed H.R. 6849 on Tuesday of this week, clearing the way for USDA to continue implementation of provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill based on the changes specified by the legislation.

      H.R. 6849, as signed, makes technical corrections to the permanent crop disaster program included in the 2008 Farm Bill. It also temporarily reverses the US Department of Agriculture's published notice regarding the Farm Bill's 10 base-acre provision, which would have denied farm program benefits to hundreds of thousands of producers nationwide by refusing to allow for the aggregation of small base acreage.

      In addition to suspension of the 10-base acre rule, H.R. 6849 also includes several key clarifications regarding rules for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE) which part of the new permanent disaster assistance program provision included in the law.

      Key provisions of H.R. 6849 include:

- A one-year suspension of the 10-base-acre rule that would have disallowed farms with 10 or less base acres from participating in the Direct and Counter-cyclical Program (DCP);      

- Provide the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to exempt de Minimus acreages from the risk management purchase requirement for eligibility for ag disaster assistance payments; and,

- Excludes ghost crops planted following the loss of an insured primary crop and crops not eligible for either crop insurance or NAP from inclusion in the calculation guarantees or revenues used to calculate benefits under the SURE program.


USDA Approves Cotton Incorporated
Budget; Announces Cotton Board Appointments

Friday, October 17, 2008                          By Shawn Wade

      USDA approved both the Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated's 2009 budgets earlier this week, confirming the budget recommendations submitted September 15, 2008 by the Cotton Board after its recent Annual Meeting.

      Darryl W. Earnest, Deputy Administrator of Cotton and Tobacco Programs made the announcement for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

      USDA approved an operational budget of $4,680,355 for the Cotton Board. Cotton Incorporated's approved budget consists of $78 million in program funding and $3.1 million in supplemental funding, bringing their total approved budget to $81.1 million.

      The breakdown of Cotton Incorporated's budget is as follows:

     Fiber Research Committee - $17,208,000

      Product Research & Development - $10,285,000

      Global Strategy & Implementation - $14,164,000

      Consumer Marketing Committee - $31,890,000

      Administration - $4,453,000

      Supplemental Funding - $3,100,000                

      TOTAL - $81,100,000

      Cotton Incorporated President and CEO Barrye Worsham noted that the CI budget request reflected the wide variety of challenges facing the U.S. cotton industry today.

      Worsham noted, "The U.S. cotton industry faces a number of challenges today ranging from competition from alternative crops at the farm level to greater competition from alternative fibers at the retail/consumer level."

"We will continue to seek the proper balance between our research programs, which are geared to longer-run improvements in our fiber and the products derived from it, and our promotional activities, which have a shorter-term effect on consumer attitudes and demand. Our staff remains committed to our mission and to constantly adjusting our strategy as conditions warrant," concluded Worsham.

Cotton Board Appointments Announced

      Also this week, Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced the appointment of 13 members, 13 alternate members and one non-voting consumer advisor to the Cotton Board. The members and alternates will serve three-year terms, ending December 31, 2011.

      The following individuals were appointed members to serve on the Cotton Board: Robert McGinnis, Arkansas; John "Jeffrey" Baxter, Arkansas; Aaron Barcellos, California; Thomas "Tap" Parker, Louisiana; Mike Sturdivant Jr., Mississippi; David Grant, North Carolina/Virginia; Barry Evans, Texas; D.C. (Compton) Cornelius, Texas; Roger Glaspy, Importer, California; David Levey, Importer, Wisconsin; Gail Strickler, Importer, Connecticut; Maureen Gray, Importer, New York and Debi Gregg, Importer, California.

      Floyd County Texas cotton producer D.C. (Compton) Cornelius was appointment to fill a newly added Cotton Board position that was created based on recent statewide production history. Cornelius had previously served as an alternate to re-appointed Cotton Board member Barry Evans of Kress, Texas.

     The re-appointed alternate members are: E. Ritter Arnold, Arkansas; Robert Gammil, Arkansas; Steve Cantu, California; George LaCour Jr., Louisiana; and Michael Hubbard, Importer, North Carolina.

      The newly appointed alternate members are: Harry Flowers, Mississippi; Jerry Hamill, North Carolina/Virginia; Mark Hegi, Texas; John Dunlap, Texas; Henry Malloy Evans, Importer, South Carolina; Courtney O'Keefe, Importer, Connecticut; Flora J. Wong, Importer, Washington; and Rafael Hernandez, Importer, Texas.

      The re-appointed consumer advisor is Billie J. Collier from Florida.


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



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






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

7:00 pm



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

8:00 am



Pioneer Museum, US HWY 82, Crosbyton, Tx.

6:00 pm



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

8:00 am



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

10:00 am



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

7:30 a.m



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

9:00 am



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

10:00 am



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

2:00 pm



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

8:30 am



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

1:00 p.m



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

9:00 am



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

8:00 am



Spearman City Hall, 30 SW Court, Spearman

8:30 am


Deaf Smith

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

9:00 am