Upland Cotton Average Price Received by
Growers Through January 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009                               By Shawn Wade

      Cumulative Upland cotton marketings for the first half of the 2008-marketing year totaled 5.425 million bales according to information released February 27, 2009 by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

      That figure is 2.505 million bales below the 7.93 million bales marketed through the same period for the 2007-crop. The January sales numbers reflect a significant uptick in market activity and may eventually help reduce the lag in total marketings. Based on recent export sales reports the increase in January sales activity will carry forward at least another month and boost the February numbers once they are released.

      The big question surrounding the recent jump in sales is whether or not the increased sales activity is a result of increased demand or simply a reaction to recent price declines. Conventional wisdom says the surge in sales is a response to the lower prices to fill immediate needs and not an indication that a significant increase in cotton demand has occurred.

      According to the USDA report, estimated January 2009 marketings totaled 1.849 million bales. The average selling price reported for the month was 46.10 cents per pound. Coincidentally, the January 2009 marketing figure is the exact same bale total reported for January 2008 after final revisions were released by the NASS.

      Based on these figures, the 2008 Upland Cotton Weighted Average Price calculated through January 2009 is 51.65 cents per pound. With the first six months of the marketing year now past, the calculated 2008-crop Weighted Average Price has dipped below the 52-cent Upland cotton Base Loan rate.

      The following table shows the average price received each month by farmers and the associated weighted average price based on prices and cumulative marketings from August 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009.

      The 2008 Counter-cyclical payment rate authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill will be based on the 12-month Weighted Average Price Received by growers. For cotton the 12-month Weighted Average Price will reflect price and marketings for the 2008 marketing year. The 2008 cotton marketing year began August 1, 2008 and ends July 31, 2009.

Average Price Received For 2008-crop Upland Cotton
(Weighted by Marketings)





(000's of Running bales)










































Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service; * = preliminary


TTU Ag Economist Creates Blog To Focus
On Agricultural Competitiveness Issues

Friday, March 6, 2009                               By Shawn Wade

      Texas Tech University Agricultural Economics Professor Dr. Darren Hudson has launched a new internet site dedicated to the discussion of agriculture competitiveness issues.

      Hudson, who holds the Larry Combest Endowed Chair in Agricultural Competitiveness within the Texas Tech Department of Agricultural Economics, created the site to provide timely information and his personal thoughts about key issues impacting the competitiveness of farmers on the Texas High Plains and around the country.

   Dr. Hudson's launch of the new site (http://agcompetitiveness.blogspot.com) couldn't have been timed much better following the release of the Obama Administration's FY2010 budget proposals. With that release as a platform, he has hit the ground running providing his thoughts on the Administration's proposals to significantly cut agriculture support programs established by the 2008 Farm Bill less than one year ago.

      He has also been able to provide timely and factual data to refute incorrect information published in an article in the Wall Street Journal about farm size and the number of farms the Obama cuts would impact.

      Anyone interested in farming and the economic, policy and trade issues that impact a farmer's ability to remain competitive now and in the future should take the time and visit Dr. Hudson's blog. Once you get there remember to sign-in, post your thoughts and comments about the issues and join the discussion.


Final 2008 Systems Test and Cotton
Performance Reports Now Available

Friday, March 6, 2009                               By Shawn Wade

      Texas AgriLife Extension Service Cotton Specialist Dr. Randy Boman and new Texas AgriLife Research Cotton Breeder Dr. Jane Dever have completed 2008 project reports detailing the results of the highly popular "Systems Agronomic and Economic Evaluation of Cotton Varieties in the Texas High Plains" and 2008 Cotton Variety Performance Tests.

      A complete portable document format (PDF) version of each of the reports can be downloaded from the Lubbock Texas AgriLife Extension website at the following links:



      This year's reports feature cotton variety trial and demonstrations plot data collected across the High Plains. These include large-scale variety trials and also picker-stripper harvest comparisons.

      "Each of these reports are documents cotton growers on the High Plains have come to rely on when they sit down to make planting seed decisions," says PCIP Chairman Dale Swinburn of Tulia. "Combined with the PCG Seed Cost Calculator High Plains cotton producers once again have several valuable resource to assist them after it weighs the many choices that are available in the marketplace today."














Cotton Inc To Offer Free Cotton Marketing Workshop; Reserve Your Spot Today

      Get your calendars out and plan to attend this year's "Cotton Price Risk Management and Pricing Strategies Seminar" sponsored by Cotton Incorporated in cooperation with Plains Cotton Growers, Inc.

      The free seminar is designed to help producers develop and sharpen their individual cotton marketing skills and develop market-based strategies for managing price risk for the 2009 cotton marketing season.

      This year's workshop will be held on Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Towers, located at 801 Avenue Q in Lubbock. The workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided to all workshop participants.

      Workshop topics include: "Why are options on cotton futures critical to your business?"; "What can options do for you and how?"; and, "Actionable hedging strategies."

      Instructors for this year's seminar will be retired Texas A&M Extension Economist Dr. Carl Anderson, Dr. John Robinson of Texas A&M University, and Mr. Mike Stevens of Swiss Financial.

      The program will also include a Market Outlook by Cotton Marketing Specialist Dr. O.A. Cleveland and a session on practical application of the skills and information provided during the workshop by Cotton Specialist Mike Stevens.

      For information about the conference contact Kay Wriedt at Cotton Incorporated (919-678-2271) or Shawn Wade at Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. (806-792-4904).

      Registration is required for the conference and participants can register by telephone or email. Telephone registrations should be directed to Kay Wriedt (919-678-2271). Email registrations should be addressed to: kwriedt@cottoninc.com


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