2009 DCP Signup Now Open;
ACRE Sign-up To Begin In Spring 2009

      The United States Department of Agriculture has announced that enrollment for the 2009 Direct and Counter-cyclical Payment (DCP) Program for farms with base acres will begin Dec. 22 both online and at local USDA service centers and will continue until June 1, 2009. The June 1, 2009 deadline is mandatory for all participants. USDA will not accept any late-filed applications.

      Producers who are eligible for the 2009 DCP Program will also be eligible to enroll in the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program. The enrollment period for the ACRE Program will begin in the spring.

      Producers may first enroll in the DCP Program, elect to receive advance direct payments and then later modify their enrollment to include the ACRE program or they may wait and enroll in DCP and ACRE at the same time in Spring 2009.

      USDA computes DCP Program payments using base acres and payment yields established for each farm. Eligible producers receive direct payments at rates established by statute regardless of market prices.

      For 2009, eligible producers may request to receive advance direct payments based on 22 percent of the direct payment for each commodity associated with the farm. USDA will issue advance direct payments beginning December 2008.

      Counter-cyclical payment rates vary depending on market prices. Counter-cyclical payments are issued only when the effective price for a commodity is below its target price. The effective price for each covered commodity and peanuts equals the direct payment rate plus the higher of the national average market price received by farmers during the 12-month marketing year or the national average loan rate.

      Producers are urged to make use of the eDCP automated website to sign up; however, producers can visit any USDA Service Center or their administratively assigned center to complete their 2009 DCP contract.


United Nations Recognizes 2009
As International Year of Natural Fibers

Friday, January 2, 2009                                  By Shawn Wade

      Plans have been underway since April 2008 when the Untied Nations General Assembly agreed to recognize the importance of cotton and natural fibers to consumers and to society by designating 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibers (IYNF). Now it's time for the celebration to begin.

      Natural fibers are key contributors to the economies to many nations around the world, including the United States. The goal of the IYNF is to recognize the contributions of natural fibers to the wealth and welfare of mankind. For the United States cotton industry the effort is an important opportunity to remind consumers at home and abroad of the superior product that is being produced by U.S. cotton farmers and textile mills.

      A number of activities are being planned by various U.S. cotton industry groups for the 2009 calendar year to celebrate cotton's place in the natural fiber product catalog. Among the groups planning activities are Cotton Incorporated, the organization that carries out the successful U.S. domestic research and promotion program, and Cotton Council International, U.S. cotton's export promotion program.

      CCI has made the (IYNF) the theme for various promotion events around the world including a major promotion in China where a series of "Natural World" marketing programs has been developed to tell cotton's "natural story" and will be carried out over the next year.

      CCI activities include fashion shows with COTTON USA licensees, U.S. cotton collections designed by celebrities, art exhibitions, print and interactive outdoor advertising, a consumer video competition and in-store promotions.

      For one of its initiatives CCI China/Hong Kong has produced special reusable bamboo chopsticks in a cotton canvas bag labeled with the COTTON USA Mark and IYNF logo. The goal of the effort is two-fold - remind Chinese consumers about the value of choosing U.S. cotton and also encourage them to avoid using throwaway chopsticks in restaurants.

      Cotton Incorporated is getting similarly involved with the IYNF festivities. With over 20 million tons of cotton produced in the world annually, the IYNF 2009 focus represents an outstanding opportunity to provide consumers a cotton education and to promote the fiber to consumers around the world.

      Cotton Incorporated has been both a financial and promotions partnering organization, supporting CCI's overseas promotion efforts, for over two decades. Cotton Incorporated and CCI are also members of the International Forum for Cotton Promotion (IFCP), which consists of 13 partnering countries who share the ultimate goal of promoting cotton as the world's most natural, renewable and sustainable fiber to their consumers.


FiberMax Looking For One Ton
Club Entries; Ready To Honor 2008 Class

      Bayer CropScience is looking for top cotton growers to join its FiberMax¨ One Ton Clubª class of 2008. Growers can submit their qualification form November 1, 2008, to March 1, 2009. Forms are available at local gins, through Bayer CropScience sales representatives and online at http://www.FiberMax.com

      Both first-time One Ton Club qualifiers and past members who qualify with their 2008 crop need to submit qualification forms for membership in the 2008 One Ton Club class. Bayer CropScience has inducted 234 members so far and will honor the 2008 One Ton Club class in Lubbock, Texas, on April 2, 2009.

      Growers qualify by producing 2,000 pounds of lint cotton or more per acre on at least 20 acres planted to FiberMax cotton seed. Members have a chance to win a two-year lease on a Ford¨ F350 Super Duty¨ King Ranch¨ truck. They also receive special FiberMax One Ton Club apparel and gifts.